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Mailbag: Franchise Tag Candidates? DT Help?


Would you use the franchise or transition tag on Dalton Schultz? This option may buy the team a year to draft and develop a replacement or work out a deal with Schultz. — JOSHUA M / GOOSE CREEK, SC

Rob: Not a bad thought, though obviously it's not something players typically love. Franchising Schultz for 2022 would mean roughly $11 million against this year's cap. That's no small number considering the work they need to do in order to create space by the start of the league year. With a new multi-year deal they could spread out that cap figure. But as we've said before, Schultz could command a pretty rich salary — perhaps too rich — if he hits the open market.

David: This isn't meant as a knock on Dalton Schultz. He's been fantastic these last two years, and he deserves the pay day that's coming to him. But I think this is a case where you accept that you can't pay everyone, let Schultz pursue free agency and collect the eventual compensatory pick coming your way. The Cowboys already have Blake Jarwin under contract at a considerable bargain, and I think he can play a similar role to what we've seen from Schultz. In a perfect world, you could keep everybody, but I think that money will be needed elsewhere.

All I keep hearing is we need get get Dak more help to contend for a Super Bowl. We had a top offense. Wouldn't he be better served if we draft a big defensive tackle like Jordan Davis or Travis Jones to shore up a big run-stopping defense? That would also help the linebackers out as well. I think the biggest help for Dak would be a more dominant defense. Why are DT's not in the draft conversation? — CHUCK MCCOLLOUGH / COWETA, OK

Rob: Nobody said defensive tackle wasn't a draft consideration. When you're picking 24th, how can anyone possibly know the best position to target at this point? I actually agree with you about adding size there, but if you're asking me the biggest need right now, I'd go offensive line. You say they had a top offense. Statistically, yes, and there's a lot of talented players on that side of the ball, but the production just wasn't the same down the stretch against good teams like San Francisco who dominated the line of scrimmage.

David: This isn't an all-or-nothing conversation. Dak could use some offensive line help. The defensive line could use some more beef in the middle. Both of those things can be true. If you're not hearing talk about DTs in the draft, it's probably because most analysts seem to agree that there aren't many first-round talents at the position this year. That doesn't mean it can't be addressed elsewhere. As you mentioned, Travis Jones was very impressive at the Senior Bowl. Travon Walker and Perrion Winfrey are two other names worth knowing. There's DT talent in this draft class, and I'm confident they'll take a hard look at it.

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