Peyton Hendershot has gone from an undrafted talent to one helping fellow rookie Jake Ferguson set a franchise record through their first seven games together
ARLINGTON, Texas - It was National Tight Ends Day and Dak Prescott made sure the Dallas Cowboys celebrated by leaning on theirs to help defeat the visiting Detroit Lions in Week 7. Dalton Schultz returned to battle through a knee injury to reel in all five of his targets for 49 yards and rookie Peyton Hendershot left his own imprint on the 24-6 victory.
The undrafted former Indiana standout reeled in his first-ever NFL touchdown late in the fourth quarter - following a sack and takeaway by fellow rookie Sam Williams - to nail the coffin shut.
"It was a blessing," "I can not describe the words for it. I'm very blessed and thankful to be a Dallas Cowboy."
Hendershot wasn't the only player open on the play, however.
So was the other rookie tight end, Jake Ferguson, not far away from Hendershot - the former being the first to rush over and congratulate the latter in the back of the end zone. Ferguson scored his first-ever NFL touchdown just last week in what was nearly a comeback win for the Cowboys against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The young duo has now made franchise history - 2022 marking the first season in the existence of the club wherein two rookie tight ends have both scored touchdowns.
"One of the best rookie classes I've seen in my seven years here," said Dak Prescott of what he's seeing from Hendershot, Ferguson and, as a related aside, from others like Sam Williams, the defensive up-and-comer having racked up a breakout day against the Lions.
"I feel like I said that last year and then to have this class come in - the way they approach each and every day."
Fun times are being had for the 5-2 Cowboys, including what Prescott had to deal with when he went to the sideline after tossing the touchdown to Hendershot.
"On that touchdown, what's funny is Jake [Ferguson] went to the flat and to the right is the first read," Prescott explained with a smile. "Jake's the second read. And when I looked at him he was covered, but then I see Peyton [Hendershot] in the back of the end zone [doing jumping jacks] - so I throw it. They were giving me stuff on the sideline like, 'Oh, you didn't throw it to Jake because he scored last week?'
"It's [National] Tight End Day so let's feed them all. It's great for the two young guys."
All Hendershot knows is that, on that play, he put his play recognition and ability to separate on display, and there was nothing left to do from there but hope Prescott saw him.
"We ran the same play with the same shift and motion ," said Hendershot. "I kept seeing my guy shoot the edge and I ran the over, and I was wide open and no one was around. … Jake Ferguson was wide open, too. I thought [Prescott] was gonna throw it to him but he chose to throw it to me.
"I'm just blessed and thankful for it."
Is this the first of many to come for the beaming young tight end from North Salem?
"Yes, sir," he replied.