“Congratulations, you’re a Dallas Cowboy.”
Those were the words from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to former Bingham High tight end Dalton Schultz that changed his life Saturday. Dallas used the 147th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft to take Schultz, who left Stanford after his junior year to pursue a career in the pros.
The Cowboys shared audio on their website of the conversation between Schultz and team personnel to congratulation him on the selection, and when he was handed over to head coach Jason Garrett, Schultz’s response summed up his mood.
“I’m good. I’m good now,” he said.
The 6-foot-6, 244-pounder posted similar receiving numbers each of the past two years at Stanford, including 22 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns in 2017, when Schultz earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors. He finished his college career with 55 receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns.
It was a selection lauded by the team and experts alike.
“This is a guy that’s going to be an even more productive pro than he was in college,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said during the network’s draft telecast.
“While his pass-catching totals weren’t high, he’s a versatile tight end prospect who presumably can help block for Dallas’ running game,” Dallas Cowboys team writer Rob Phillips said.
Schultz enters a Dallas tight-end situation that appears to be in flux.
Reports circulated Friday that 15-year veteran Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, a certain Hall of Famer, will retire and join ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
That would leave an opening for someone to step into a starting role for the Cowboys at tight end. Dallas already has three young tight ends on its roster in Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin and Geoff Swaim. Another tight end, James Hanna, was placed on the reserve/retired list last week.
Schultz is the sixth Stanford tight end taken in the NFL draft since 2010, a group that includes Zach Ertz, Coby Fleener and Austin Hooper.
“Congrats to my guy @BinghamBaller9!! Unfortunately that was a great pick by that other team!! Can’t wait to see you twice a year,” Ertz tweeted. Ertz caught the game-winning touchdown for Dallas division rival Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII in February.
The former Miner joins two other Bingham High products in the NFL: Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and New England Patriots linebacker Harvey Langi.
Schultz ran a 4.75-second 40 at the combine, tied for seventh among tight ends. He was a top performer among tight ends in the three-cone drill, running seven seconds flat for third, and had a 120-inch leap in the broad jump, tied for fourth among his position group. At the combine, Schultz completed just 15 reps in the bench press (second-lowest among tight ends), but improved that to 20 reps at Stanford’s Pro Day.
“We’ve been talking about you all day, really the last couple of days. Can’t wait to get you in here,” Garrett told Schultz in their phone conversation.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity. Thank you so much,” Schultz responded.