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Mailbag: Enough Cap Space For Schultz Contract?


I know it's hard to evaluate players without pads, but wide receiver does seem to be a position that, pads or no pads, you can get a pretty good idea about a player's growth. That's said, how has CeeDee Lamb looked so far? Is he showing enough growth to really solidify that WR1 spotlight? – CALEB RESINGER / FORT WAYNE, IN

Nick: I think pads or no pads, you can see if I guy catches the ball and gets open. But that's not the issue with CeeDee and that's not how you gauge a No. 1 receiver in the summer. What we need to know is how CeeDee steps up with the game on the line and the entire defense focusing on him. Can the Cowboys still get him the ball when he's the No. 1 with rolling coverage his way? That's something you can tell right now but we'll find that out soon enough.

David: It's a tough question to answer this time of year, and it can lead you into some traps. CeeDee's training camp last summer was one of the best I've ever seen, to be blunt about it. And while he had a solid season in 2021, I'm not sure it lived up to the hype of what we saw in Oxnard. We know he's a stud, and we know he's capable of doing some amazing things. I'm not worried about what we see from CeeDee in practice, the real challenge will be taking it into the season, when everyone is game planning for him.

What's your gut feeling on Dalton Schultz and the franchise tag before the deadline to reach an agreement on a new contract? Do the Cowboys have the space to do such a deal? – MIKE S / DALLAS, TX

Nick: Yes, the Cowboys can get a deal done and one that Schultz and his camp would be happy about. What I don't know is just how much the Cowboys want to spend to keep him. They tagged him because they really had to based off their numbers at tight end and the lack of depth in the tight end draft class. But does that mean they want to keep him long-term at a high price? Don't know that answer. My gut here tells me they will try to get a long-term deal but I'd be surprised if one gets done by July 15. I could be wrong here but I think he'll play another year like this with a big contract looming next year.

David: They definitely have the space. With La'el Collins' June 1 savings kicking in, money is not an issue. For the Cowboys, it's all about determining whether they think Schultz is worth the extension. Perhaps they could try to sign him for something similar to the four-year, $56.7 million deal that David Njoku recently signed? But given that Schultz's numbers are better than Njoku's, it's fair to wonder if he'd be willing to sign it. I've been saying for months that I think the Cowboys are content to let Schultz play on the tag. We'll see if this new negotiating tactic prompts them to change their minds.

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