Get ready for the Jason Witten comparisons, Dalton Schultz.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Schultz, a Stanford tight end, with the final pick in the fourth round (137th overall) on Saturday. Schultz becomes the highest-drafted tight end on the Cowboys roster, assuming Jason Witten follows through on his plans to retire and head to ESPN's "Monday Night Football" broadcast booth.
Schultz is familiar with Witten, of course.
"He is definitely a guy that I have watched on film and learned from and tried to emulate in my own game throughout college," Schultz said. "We have a lot of NFL tape that we will pull up on Saturdays in the offseason and bring in some of the young tight ends and go through and watch film, so I’ve seen a lot of his film. I know he is the all-time [Cowboys] leader in receptions and a hell of a player. He has had a Hall of Fame career.
"I think those comparisons are things that some people like to do, but at the end of the day you go in with that same mindset that you are going to approach every day the same way and dominate everything you do. I think going forward that is going to be how I approach the Cowboys and the Cowboys offense."
Schultz, who is 6-foot-6, 244 pounds, had 22 catches for 212 yards and three touchdowns for Stanford last season. In three seasons with the Cardinal, Schultz had 55 receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns.
Schultz doesn't feel his stats do him justice in the passing game.
"I would say I am very underrated in the pass game," said Schultz, who was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 squad in 2017. "I didn’t get a lot of production, but I just wasn't asked to do that stuff in our offense, being very a very run-first and play action over the top offense. I would say I am very underrated and I’m really excited to get out on the field and show everybody that I can be a threat in the man game as well as the middle of the field."
Witten had similar stats when he left Tennessee. In 36 games with the Volunteers, Witten had 68 catches for 797 yards with seven TDs, and the Cowboys used a third-round pick on him.
Witten, who turns 36 on May 6, is expected to walk away from the NFL after piling up 1,152 catches for 12,448 yards and 68 touchdowns.
But, as stated, Schultz isn't seeking the spotlight of replacing one of the all-time greats in the franchise.
"I think [second overall pick] Saquon Barkley said it best, ‘The spotlight isn’t something that you necessarily want or ask for. I think that’s something that just comes with success,'" Schultz said. "I think jumping in and emulating that same success and doing that to the best of my ability is going to be my focus. If that spotlight comes, then awesome, let that spotlight come and live in it. My focus is approaching every day the same way and trusting that process and getting better each and every day."
Schultz joins a tight end room that includes Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers. Those three have combined to make nine catches for 94 yards and no touchdowns in 29 career games.