With Blake Jarwin accounting for nearly $6 million in cap space for 2022, is there any chance Dallas re-signs Dalton Schultz? Seems with all the impending free agents and the prior investment to Jarwin, Schultz is likely heading out. Any reason for optimism? — ROB RIGGIERI / RUTLAND, MA
David: It's unfortunate and ironic that the Cowboys clearly have a choice to make between their two tight ends, who have become close friends over the last four years. Jarwin is already under contract on a very affordable deal, though the Cowboys could free up about $4 million in cap space by releasing him. Doing that might not help them much with Schultz, though, as it's good guess his deal is going to be tough to afford. If you're asking me for a prediction, I think Schultz is going to be hard to keep. The Cowboys can slide Jarwin back into the starting role at a more affordable price, and they'd be in position to get a compensatory pick for Schultz in 2023.
Rob: It's a great question and it's hard to answer without knowing what Schultz will command on the open market, assuming he'll want to test free agency. The Cowboys are going to have to do some work to get under the cap, and that's before filling out the roster in free agency and the draft. So maybe I'm a little skeptical about Schultz returning simply for financial reasons, but I'm confident they want to keep him in a tandem with Jarwin.
Is the massive amount of penalties that the Cowboys had a problem with the head coach, offensive/defensive coordinators, position coaches or players knowing but not doing the correct techniques? — MICHAEL WARNER / FAYETTEVILLE, PA
David: I don't see why you should have to limit yourself to one answer. When you lead the league in penalties and it's a huge part of why you got bounced from the playoffs, it's fair to call it a failure on everyone's part. T]he head coach didn't do a good enough job recognizing and adapting to the problem, the position coaches didn't do a good enough job emphasizing and correcting the issues and the players didn't do a good enough job taking the teaching points to the field.
Rob: Like pretty much anything that didn't go right this season, it's never just one reason or one person. I think that applies to penalties, too, because there are different types. Maybe pre-snap penalties are more on the players than coaches, but overall it does come down to the staff emphasizing those mistakes and the fundamentals, moving forward, as Dave said.