Jerry Jones decisions Cowboys owner, GM regrets: 1. Placing the Franchise Tag on Dalton Schultz
Electing to place the franchise tag on Dalton Schultz rather than inking him to a long-term deal set the stage to lose him in free agency during the 2023 offseason. Jones and his front office should have worked to lock Schultz into a reasonable, long-term deal instead of using the franchise tag to keep him on the roster in 2022.
Instead, they tagged Schultz and he took his talents to the Texans via a one-year, $6.25 million deal. That’s a financial figure the Cowboys should have been happy to match on a multi-year contract.
After all, Schultz was a very valuable security blanket for Prescott in the passing game. He’s not the most dynamic pass-catching tight end in the NFL, but he did pressure opposing secondaries with his ability to run intermediate routes down the seam. Schultz’s value was so significant that his departure forced the Cowboys to spend a second-round pick on tight end Luke Schoonmaker with the idea that he can replace him.
The organization may not have viewed Schultz as a difference-maker, but he performed as an above-average starter during his tenure in Dallas. They could have kept him but their decision to franchise him in 2022 started the momentum for him to leave via a cheap free agency deal in 2023.