In just seven games together rookies, Peyton Hendershot and Jake Ferguson have gone from being undrafted to contributing key roles in breaking a franchise record.
Dak Prescott ensured the Dallas Cowboys celebrated National Tight Ends Day by heavily relying on their tight ends in a Week 7 victory over the visiting Detroit Lions. While Dalton Schultz battled through a knee ailment he caught all five of his targets for 49 yards while rookie Peyton Hendershot added his own stamp to the 24-6 triumph.
After a sack and takeaway by fellow rookie Sam Williams, the undrafted former Indiana standout brought in his first NFL score late in the fourth quarter to put the last nail in the coffin.
“Thank God for it,” “It’s beyond my ability to put into words. As a Dallas Cowboy, I count my many blessings every day.”
However, Hendershot wasn’t the only available player. Hendershot wasn’t the only rookie tight end on the field; Jake Ferguson was nearby and was the first to run up and congratulate Hendershot in the end zone’s back corner. Last week, in a game when the Cowboys nearly pulled off a comeback victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, Ferguson scored his first career NFL touchdown.
It’s the first time in the club’s history that two rookie tight ends have scored touchdowns in the same season (2022).
After the game against the Lions quarterback Dak Prescott remarked that he had seen “one of the best rookie classes I’ve seen in my seven years here” thanks to the play of rookies like Hendershot, Ferguson and, in a related note Sam Williams a defensive up-and-comer who had a breakout game.
The way this new class approaches each day is inspiring. I know I stated that last year. The Cowboys’ 5-2 record and Prescott’s sideline antics after passing for a score to Hendershot are evidence of the team’s good times.
With a grin on his face, Prescott explained: “On that touchdown, what’s amusing is Jake [Ferguson] went to the flat and to the right is the first read.” I’d give Jake a second look. When I turned to look at him, he was out of the clear, but I noticed Peyton Henderson at the far end of the end zone doing jumping jacks, so I threw it at him. The sideline threw all sorts of criticism at me, such as “Oh, you didn’t throw it to Jake since he scored last week?”
“Since today is [National] Tight End Day, let’s throw a party and feed all the tight ends we can find. For the two young men, this is fantastic news.”
Hendershot just knows that he showed off his play awareness and separation skills on that play and that after that, all he could do was hope Prescott noticed him.
“We ran the same play with the same shift and motion,” Hendershot explained. “I kept looking back to see my buddy shoot the edge, so I’d run the over when there was nobody in sight. Both Jake Ferguson and I were completely vulnerable. I was expecting [Prescott] to throw it to him, but he instead threw it to me.
Simply put, “I count my blessings and am grateful.” What do you think, North Salem’s young tight end? Is this his first touchdown or the first of many?
It was met with a “Yes, sir” from the man.
I think that’s all there is to say on the matter.
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