Cowboys Rumors: Dalton Schultz Won't Attend OTAs amid Frustration over Contract Talks

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 6, 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 16: Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) caches the football during the NFC Wild Card game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys on January 16, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz is reportedly opting out of the remainder of voluntary workouts amid a stall in contract negotiations.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Schultz is "frustrated" by a lack of progress and informed the team he will not be showing up for the remainder of the voluntary offseason program.

The Cowboys and Schultz have until July 15 to agree to a new contract or the tight end will have to play out the 2022 campaign on the franchise tag.

Because Schultz already signed his franchise tag, the Cowboys would have the right to fine him if he skips any mandatory workouts. The tag will pay Schultz $10.9 million during the 2022 season.

"Obviously, I think this is the place that I want to be," Schultz told reporters in April. "I've got a good rapport with a lot of the guys here. I love being here. I love this organization.

"I was grateful that I was able to at least come back here for a year. I want to work out a long-term deal and I think they do, too—hopefully we can get that done. But just knowing where I'm going to be for the next year, I'm happy with."

After largely playing a backup role each of his first two NFL seasons, Schultz has emerged as a solid pass-catcher in 2020 and 2021. The Stanford product set career highs in receptions (78), yards (808) and touchdowns (eight) last season while earning a career-best 78.1 grade from Pro Football Focus.

The Cowboys showed their faith in Schultz by giving him the franchise tag, a financial decision that likely played a part in the team trading wideout Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns. It's likely the team is banking on Schultz taking on an increased role in the offense next season, particularly on underneath routes that previously went Cooper's direction.

That said, the finances on a long-term contract for Schultz likely skyrocketed after the Browns inked David Njoku to a four-year, $56.8 million contract last month. Njoku is a more physically talented player than Schultz, but his recent production from a receiving standpoint pales in comparison.

That new deal is now likely a mere starting point in negotiations, which could make it difficult to get a deal done before the July deadline.