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Dalton Schultz on Utah roots and big brother role with Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas — On one hand, Dalton Schultz likes sharing a locker room in Dallas with Simi Fehoko as they have similar roots as Utah natives who both played at Stanford. However, Schultz, a Bingham High product, also likes regularly seeing Fehoko, a former Brighton High standout, for another reason.

“Those coaches that I had growing up not only in high school but through Little League, one of them was our DBs coach in high school. They helped me so much just in terms of being an athlete and a player.” — Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz on his Utah football roots

“I give him (grief) all the time because we beat them in the state championship my senior year (28-13),” Schultz, said. “It’s cool that I can still noise him about that. Having someone close who’s got your same perspective, I think it’s cool, especially when you get to an NFL locker room like this.”

Naturally, Schultz’s Bingham roots are never far from his mind, especially since his Twitter handle is @BinghamBaller9. He’s always quick to rep the Miners on social media whenever possible and to recognize fellow Bingham products doing great things; one way he shows his gratitude for the solid foundation his time as a Miner laid in his life.

“That offense in high school was the same offense we ran in college. It very much prepared me for that step of the journey for sure,” he said. “Those coaches that I had growing up not only in high school but through Little League, one of them was our DBs coach in high school. They helped me so much just in terms of being an athlete and a player.”

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Bingham tight end Dalton Schultz looks on during the Utah 5A football state semifinal game against Syracuse at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. After graduating from high school Schultz enjoyed a stellar career at Stanford and is now doing his thing in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.

Miners fans also remember Schultz on the hardwood with the basketball team. And even though he still enjoys watching NBA games, he admits to not missing his “other” sport from Bingham.

“I don’t miss basketball at all. I wish I was better at it, maybe I’d miss it more,” he said. “I don’t miss the conditioning aspect of it at all. I remember running up and down the court and thinking I wasn’t born to be a sprinter. I love watching it but don’t miss playing it. I wasn’t terrible. I’d light it up on the plus-minus with three points, seven boards, plus-16, taking charges.”

Schultz, 26, is in his fifth NFL season after the Cowboys selected him in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft out of Stanford, where he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2017. Since his rookie season, he’s been a model of consistency for Dallas. In 10 games this season, he has 35 catches, second most on the team, for 343 yards and three touchdowns.

Two of those scores came in a 28-20 home win against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day, a game where Schultz and his fellow tight ends were fined for a post-touchdown celebration that saw them play a game of Whac-a-Mole inside a large Salvation Army kettle at the back of the end zone. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has since said he’ll cover the fines for his tight ends.

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Dallas Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz (86) jumps out of a Salvation Army kettle while celebrating Peyton Hendershot’s (89) touchdown along with Sean McKeon (84) during a game against the New York Giants Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.

Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press

Also in the kettle with Schultz was rookie Peyton Hendershot, an undrafted free agent from Indiana who has been an absolute sponge around Schultz, absorbing every bit of sage advice he dishes out.

“Dalton is like a big brother, a big brother who isn’t always going to tell you what you want to hear, but he’s going to tell you what you need to hear,” Hendershot said.

“That’s what Dalton is to me. He’s been nothing but the biggest help since I’ve been here and even when sometimes I’m going in for his play or whatever, he helps me out with little techniques and details. I’m very thankful for him. Another big thing I’d say about him is how smart of a guy he is. He’s done nothing but help me grow as a player and a human.”

Providing leadership is a role Schultz has evolved into organically, part of a larger esprit de corps shared by him and his fellow tight ends. “At the end of the day, I’m trying to help everybody in the room,” he said. “That’s something that our position coach is super big on, is the success as a room. It’s not down to one player or two players, it’s how great can we all be,” he said.

“So, if I’ve got knowledge on certain things that I feel like sharing could help. I’m going to share that. They’ve also been great at just listening and taking those thoughts and ideas that I might have for them, whether good or bad, and finding a way to use that to make themselves better. I think it’s a two-way street. Leadership is only as good as you’re willing to listen.”

As the most experienced tight end on the roster, it makes sense Schultz is looked to for his veteran leadership and for his ability to remember how he handled various challenges on and off the field from earlier in his career, situations that his younger teammates are currently facing.

“I’ve just grown exponentially in all facets, whether it’d be the mental stuff in the game, the wisdom of the game, the patience of things like route running and route development to the techniques of run blocking,” Schultz said. “When you get thrown into the league, you’re forced to get better immediately because the talent around you is so immensely great and better than college.

“Over Thanksgiving, I was reflecting on one, having a job you love is awesome but also having the perspective that young kids bring you after you pour everything into your day job.” — Dalton Schultz

“You hear it all the time, you’re playing the best player you played in college every day at every position. You’ve got no choice, you’re thrown into the fire. I think in all aspects I’ve taken significant leaps. That’s the biggest thing, every day I try to make sure that I’m continuing to take those leaps.”

Another experience that has changed his perspective on everything came in 2018 when he became a father for the first time with the birth of his son, Theodore. He and his wife, Laurel, have since welcomed a daughter into the family, and Schultz admits the saying is true, becoming a parent totally changes one’s perspective on everything, but in a positive way.

“Honestly, it’s been very nice for my perspective. Over Thanksgiving, I was reflecting on one, having a job you love is awesome but also having the perspective that young kids bring you after you pour everything into your day job,” he said.

“Now you go home and you’re explaining why we use a spoon over a fork, these simple, novel concepts to the adult brain, but to him (my son) it’s a whole new world. Just the perspective that those kids have on the world and how naïve and innocent it is, it makes you take a step back and understand those kids are the most important thing in life. My son just got to the point where he’s recognizing that certain point totals are more or less than others. I remember after the Green Bay game, I got home and he was like ‘Daddy, you lost. I’m sad.’”

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86), quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88.

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86), quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) walk between plays during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Dallas won 54-19.

Brandon Wade, Associated Press

Stephen Hunt is a freelance writer based in Frisco, Texas.

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