3 free agents Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to lose

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 22: Dalton Schultz #86 of the Dallas Cowboys scores the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 22: Dalton Schultz #86 of the Dallas Cowboys scores the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Sep 27, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) in action during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz

When Mike McCarthy took over as the head coach in Dallas, he retained Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator. Then when the two started to discuss their plans for the coming years, they realized they needed a pass-catching tight end to help open up their offense — and they believed they already had their guy.

Blake Jarwin was coming off his best campaign as a pro and was signed to a three-year extension. Unfortunately, he lasted one game as he tore his ACL while hauling in a 12-yard pass in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.

As disappointing as this was for Jarwin, it opened the door for Dalton Schultz, who took the starting job and never looked back. Schultz hauled in 63 passes for 615 yards with four touchdowns. Then he made even more strides this past season, catching 78 passes for 808 yards with eight trips to the end zone.

With names such as Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb available, it was easy to overlook Schultz and the fourth-year tight end always made opponents pay for doing so. Now, he heads into free agency and the Cowboys offense needs to bring him back. They spent too long trying to develop a tight end to let their best one go now.