Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz: We were a better offense with Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys offense lost arguably its best weapon in trading Amari Cooper and his $20 million contract to Cleveland.

Tight end Dalton Schultz noted Monday that loss opens the door for others.

"We're a better offense with [Cooper]," Schultz said via ESPN. "Unfortunately, we don't have him, and so I think the next step is having guys step up. I think there's room to grow in a bunch of other aspects of the game."

Cooper led the Cowboys' receiving corps the past three and a half seasons and drew attention from the defenses that opened lanes for the rest of the offense.

Dallas took a calculated approach with Cooper, believing the $20 million he was owed was better spent spread around. They used the franchise tag on Schultz, re-signed Michael Gallup, who is coming off a torn ACL, and added James Washington.

CeeDee Lamb moves into the full-time No. 1 receiver role and will likely see coverages rolled his way more often in 2022. The big question for the offense is when Gallup will get up to speed this season.

The Cowboys prioritized retaining Schultz in a shallow tight-end market. After netting career highs with 78 catches, 808 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021, the 25-year-old is expected to be a major part of the plan to replace the production Cooper leaves behind.

While the tag ensures Schultz is in Dallas for 2022, the TE hopes sides can work out a long-term solution by the July 15 deadline.

"I want to work out a long-term deal and I think they do, too," Schultz said. "I hope we can get that done."

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