FRISCO, Texas – Dalton Schultz isn't returning to the Cowboys in 2023.
But he isn't going too far down the road. According to multiple team reports, the veteran tight end is joining the Houston Texans on a 1-year deal worth up to $9 million.
Schultz, an unrestricted free agent for the Cowboys after playing five seasons, spent more than a week testing the free-agent market before getting the Houston deal. Ironically enough, it comes just one day after the Cowboys acquired one of the Texans' top playmakers in Brandin Cooks in a trade for two late-round draft picks.
He becomes the second Cowboys free agent to sign in Houston, joining wide receiver Noah Brown.
Schultz played on the franchise tag last year for just under $11 million for the 2022 season. While injuries plagued him early in the season, coupled with trying to establish better chemistry with backup Cooper Rush for the five games he started, Schultz picked it up when Dak returned to the lineup. Schultz had just 17 catches after the first six weeks of the season but still managed to finish with 57 catches in the regular season. And then in the playoffs, Schultz had two good games on the road, finishing with three touchdowns, the most by any Cowboys tight end during a single postseason.
That marked the third straight season Schultz was a productive member of the offense. In 2021, he 78 catches for 808 yards, which prompted the franchise tag. In 2020, Schultz had his breakout season with 63 catches for 615 yards. That followed his first two seasons in which he caught just 13 passes.
But just as Schultz was able to develop his game over the years, the Cowboys are hoping the same can happen for both Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot. Ferguson was a fourth-round pick like Schultz and had 19 catches for 174 yards and two TDs as a rookie last year. Hendershot, an undrafted rookie, caught 11 for 103 with two touchdowns.