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Texans' Dalton Schultz says playing for Cowboys was like being in a 'zoo'

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Dalton Schultz is enjoying his time with the Houston Texans much more than with his previous team, the Dallas Cowboys.

The standout tight end shared that some unusual things happened behind the scenes during his five seasons in Dallas, calling it a “zoo” before praising Houston’s organization.

“The focus is just football, you know what I mean?” Schultz said when asked what it’s like to play with the Texans. “I’m going back and telling some people about being around the Cowboys practice facility and game day and describing some of the interactions and stuff that you see on a day-to-day basis, and it surprises a lot of people. They’re like, ‘Holy crap. That actually happens at a practice facility?’ You think it’s normal, and then you come to a place like this (Houston).”

When was asked to elaborate on the “unusual things” that happened in Dallas, Schultz shared that there were spectators during workouts at the facility, among other things.

“There [are] people literally going on tours while you’re lifting in the weight room,” Schultz said. “And they’ve got like a … one-way mirror for people to like look at. It’s literally — it’s a zoo. There [are] people tapping on the glass trying to get people’s attention as they’re doing power cleans or whatnot.”

Under Jerry Jones’ 35-year tenure as owner, the Cowboys have embraced the spotlight and notoriety that comes with the franchise, becoming one of the most talked about sports franchises. Despite Schultz’s comments and the team’s knack for embracing the limelight, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones downplayed any culture issues when he recently spoke with reporters, saying: “we feel good about our culture” and that the team’s leadership is “outstanding.” 

Even after Schultz called the Cowboys’ culture “different,” he didn’t criticize his former team. 

“That’s the brand that they’ve built,” Schultz said. “That’s what Jerry Jones likes. That’s the way that they run things and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just you don’t realize how many eyeballs and how much that can maybe distract from stuff just in a locker room being in the facility until you go somewhere else.”

Schultz spent the first five seasons of his career with the Cowboys, emerging as one of the game’s best receiving tight ends in 2020 and 2021. After receiving the franchise tag from the Cowboys in 2022, Schultz signed a one-year deal with the Texans in free agency in 2023.

The veteran tight end immediately made an impact in Houston, helping rookie C.J. Stroud become one of the game’s top passers last season. He recorded 59 receptions for 635 yards and five touchdowns, helping him earn a new contract with the team on Tuesday that’s reportedly a three-year, $36 million deal with $23 million guaranteed.

Schultz seems to be more than happy with staying in Houston for three more seasons. 

“This is also a really well-run organization in Houston,” Schultz said. “I think that was one of the things that kind of scared me about leaving Dallas the most is I wasn’t sure what another organization would kind of feel like. 

“I got here and I was like … this place is a well-oiled machine.”


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