Cowboys Proof of Purchase: Gavin Escobar

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
8:00
AM ET
In some ways 2013 did not answer enough questions for the Cowboys regarding personnel. NFL Nation reporter Todd Archer looks at players the Cowboys don’t know about for a variety of reasons.

IRVING, Texas -- The initial reaction when the Dallas Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar in the second round with the 47th overall pick was, ‘Why another tight end in the second round?’

It didn’t work for the Cowboys in 2006 with Anthony Fasano and it didn’t work with Martellus Bennett in 2008.

But 2013 promised to be different with the Cowboys changing their offense to a more “12 personnel,” look. Think New England Patriots with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Well, 2013 did not work out for Escobar and the Cowboys.

The Cowboys go into 2014 not really knowing what Escobar can do. They don’t know if he is an eventual successor to Jason Witten or not. It’s not solely his fault. He never asked to be picked in the second round. And with the injuries on the defensive line, the pick received even more scrutiny as the season went on.

The Cowboys knew he would need time to develop as a blocker, coming in at 249 pounds and asked to do little of it at San Diego State. Maybe they did not know it would take that long, but Escobar was unable to beat out the 2012 sixth-round pick James Hanna. And the “12 personnel” package never really took flight as they hoped or promise with the Cowboys still relying more on three wide receiver formations.

Escobar finished with nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys have to receive more production from a second-round pick. The coaches did not do enough to use his strengths to create a package for him in the offense. He went eight games without a catch. He never had more than two in a game.

If you are going to commit a resource as high as a second round pick, then there has to be a conviction to play the guy. They never had the conviction.

This is a huge offseason for Escobar. He has to get bigger and stronger. He has to show a willingness to block. This is a huge offseason for the coaches too. If he does not become a bigger part of the offense in 2014, then they failed and the Cowboys will have wasted another second round pick on a tight end.

Proof of purchase

Lance Dunbar
Morris Claiborne

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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