FRISCO - Over the years, the Dallas Cowboys have tried to pretend that the other teams giving other players contracts does not necessarily impact what they'll do with their players.
But in reality, that's not how this works.
"America's Team,'' as special as it may be, is still part of the "supply-and-demand'' process,'' still part of the "market value'' process, of the NFL.
So when the Cleveland Browns move tight end David Njoku from the franchise tag to a long-term extension for four years and a reported $56.7 million - a deal that makes him the fourth-highest paid tight end in the NFL - Dallas' tagged tight end Dalton Schultz is absolutely a beneficiary.
Schultz is currently still on the franchise tag at $10.8 million guaranteed for 2022, pending negotiations that could move that number.
But the Browns just "moved the number'' on their own, as Njoku's APY is now a massive $14 million - and gives Schultz’s side a reason to ask for even more.
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Schultz finished last season with 78 catches, 808 yards, and eight TDs. By the numbers, he's "top six'' or thereabouts. Meanwhile, USA Today's Jori Epstein notes another set of numbers that Schultz will likely parade to the negotiating table: Njoku had 55 catches, 688 and six TDs ... in 2020-21 combined.
There are injuries and other factors in play with Njoku's numbers. But the point remains strong: As the Cowboys continue to fail to move here (as best we know), Schultz has made himself into a productive and proven performer, and while he might not quite be Travis Kelce or George Kittle ... he is certainly capable of making the argument that he's David Njoku - and maybe capable of winning that argument.
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