FRISCO - Going into last season, the Dallas Cowboys believed they might have a break-out year from a tight end to begin the post-Jason Witten era.
They got one. Just from the "other'' tight end.''
Dalton Schultz was to be the backup to Blake Jarwin. But the latter player sustained a Week 1, season-ending ACL tear, forcing Schultz into action. And in his third NFL season - and largely without the injured Dak Prescott at QB - Schultz produced like never before, with career-highs with 63 catches for 615 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2021, both players are available, Schultz right now working with the first team at OTAs while Jarwin continues to rehab.
What's the plan?
"Dude, I can't wait to see him finally go out and prove to everybody he's as great of a tight end he thinks he is,'' Schultz said of Jarwin. "I'm excited to have that two-headed monster in the room, and hopefully we can take advantage of defenses this year."
Added fifth-year tight end Jarwin: "I want to get out there, and it's been a long time since I've been able to run full speed and catch a ball. But you've just got to understand and trust the plan, trust the process."
Jarwin said that he will "just keep pushing along, and I anticipate, Day 1 of training camp, being ready to roll.'' And Schultz joked of another sort of "pushing,'' suggesting that the pair of pals might attempt to coerce coordinator Kellen Moore into using two-tight-end sets with high frequency.
"We might put those (12-Personnel ideas) in,'' he laughed. "(We'll) say something in passing as Kellen is walking by."
READ MORE: Inside Dak's Day At OTAs
More likely: Dallas' offense, loaded with skill-position talent - starring the receiving trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb - will be featured in the passing game. But that doesn't change the effort, or the goals, for the tight ends.
"We have this saying that I learned in college, it’s called 'The Law of the Price Tag,'' said Stanford man Schultz. "You got to make deposits on it day-to-day. The price never decreases. It only increases. And it has to be paid in full at all times.
"I’m continuing to do that. You got to be better than you were the day before and you got to put more in than you did the day before.''
It's likely that Jarwin will be the starter with Schultz behind him. But in a very real sense, they also back each other.
"I'm so excited for Blake,'' Schultz said. "I love working alongside a guy that I can really trust. ... Considering the circumstance, we have a great friendship ...
"When he got his third touchdown in that Giants game (Dec. 30, 2018), I was the first one on the sideline hyping him up, and I was (saying), 'Now, go get another one.' He scored the second one and then I was like, 'One more. Hat trick.' Boom, he gets the third.
"We're boosting each other up, whether it's competing on the Peleton bike in the offseason or scoring three touchdowns against the Giants.''