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Cowboys among teams to formally meet with Utah TE Dalton Kincaid

The Cowboys have a big decision looming with veteran tight end Dalton Schultz, a decision that will certainly be at least somewhat affected by the encouraging production they got from a pair of promising rookies in 2022.

But none of that precludes them from entertaining even more options at the position in the upcoming draft.

The team has had a formal meeting with Utah’s Dalton Kincaid ahead of next month’s draft. The tight end confirmed the news to media members at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

The 23-year-old Las Vegas native transferred to Utah in 2020 from the University of San Diego. In 31 games with the Utes, the 6-foot-4-inch Kincaid scored 16 touchdowns, putting him within the school’s all-time top ten. He was a John Mackey Award finalist and a first-team All-Pac-12 honoree in 2022, and he finished his college career leading all FBS tight ends in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

He told reporters he will not be participating in drills at the combine as he continues to rehab from an back injury suffered while making an acrobatic touchdown grab in the Utes’ Nov. 26 routing of Colorado. He went on to play in the Pac-12 Championship versus USC the next week, hauling in 16 catches for 234 yards and a score, but the fifth-year senior did not suit up for the Rose Bowl.

He’s an intriguing prospect and certainly worth the Cowboys talking to, if for no other reason than doing due diligence on a possible early-rounder. (Mel Kiper Jr. even sent Kincaid to Dallas in the first round of his latest mock draft.) But does the team’s apparent interest in him give any clues about how the Dallas front office is looking at the tight end named Dalton they already have?

Schultz has been a rock-solid contributor in the three seasons since Jason Witten left Dallas to play for the Raiders, notching over 55 catches and more than 550 yards in each of those years. He was the second-leading pass-catcher on the roster last season, trailing only CeeDee Lamb in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, all while playing on a $10.9 million franchise tag.

The Cowboys could elect to franchise tag him again in 2023, at a cost of $13.1 million, but it’s more likely Schultz will depart as a free agent, no matter who the club is eyeing with the 26th pick in the draft.

First-year players Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot were welcome additions to the roster in 2022. Ferguson, the fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin, finished with 19 catches for 174 yards and a pair of scores, while Hendershot, the undrafted free agent out of Indiana, added 11 receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

But Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has never shied away from collecting big-bodied tight ends. And if his recent remarks about a desire to “run the damn ball” more are to be believed, the tight end position becomes even more valuable as both a blocker and a safety valve.

Kincaid revealed that he’s also met with the Packers and Bengals while at the combine.

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