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Mailbag: Creating More Mismatches At TE?


I thought that Dalton Schultz really took it to the next level with his pass catching and run blocking abilities this past season. Hopefully, with a healthy Blake Jarwin this upcoming season, do you see the Cowboys utilizing more double tight end formations and passing out of that formation. I think that either one would be a mismatch for most linebackers in coverage. — KENNETH JACOBS / DENVER, CO

David: Dalton Schultz's emergence was one of the most exciting things about 2020, and this is a big reason why. The Cowboys used 12 personnel (that is, two tight ends) 21% of the time last year, which was more than 17 other teams. And that was without Blake Jarwin. With Jarwin coming back, they should have two dynamic, pass-catching threats. I agree with you that it's a great mismatch, and I won't be surprised if it leads to more 12 personnel in 2021.

Jonny: Sure. I think the offense is generally excited about the possibility of a healthy Dak Prescott and an offensive line that can buy enough time to take advantage of all his weapons (furiously knocks on wood). Two tight ends could be a part of the Cowboys' offense, but they have a lot of potential options. They currently have three playmaking receivers and two dynamic running backs they need to utilize. And all of this assumes a 100% return to health by Jarwin.

With all the drama around Dak and his contract, what do you think about retaining Dalton, drafting a QB and letting Dak move on? The team hasn't proven they can win a big game with him anyway. — STEVE V. / ADMORE, OK

David: 42 wins, nine comebacks, 15 game-winning drives and a playoff win at the age of 27 feels like a pretty solid resume in my book. But for the sake of the conversation, I'll just say that you'd better be ready to trade up if you're going to go that route. The odds that the QB you feel good about lasts until pick No. 10 are slim to none. If I'm going to go after a rookie to supplant a proven franchise quarterback, I'd need to be picking in the Top 5 to feel confident about getting my guy. That's very doable, but you'd better be willing to spend the resources to make it happen.

Jonny: I think the word "drama" would be more apt if we took the route you're suggesting. The chances of drafting a quarterback at any position who will be as good as Dak Prescott are really pretty tiny in my opinion. Jared Goff was the No. 1 pick in Dak's draft class. Mitchell Trubisky was the No. 2 pick the next year. Baker Mayfield was the No. 1 pick the following year. As far as drama goes, I'll take a quarterback who is young and respected by his teammates and delivers just about every game.

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