IRVING, Texas -- When the standard is Jason Witten, it can be difficult to measure up.
Witten has played through a number of maladies in his 11 seasons, missing just one game as a rookie because of a broken jaw. He returned earlier than many suspected from a ruptured spleen two years ago.
In last week’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Witten’s fellow tight end, Gavin Escobar, suffered a shoulder injury after making a 37-yard catch. He practiced some during the week and wants to play Saturday against the Miami Dolphins.
"You can only contribute if you’re on the field, so that’s what I’ve got to do," said Escobar, who is wearing extra padding to protect the shoulder.
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett does not question Escobar’s toughness.
"He wants to be a good player," Garrett said. "That’s really never been an issue for him. The biggest thing he’s got to do is find himself in those situations where he has to be physically tough where he has to move guys out with run blocks and protect and some of those things. He doesn’t have a lot of experience with that. I do believe he’s getting stronger."
After catching just nine passes for 134 yards and two scores as a rookie in 2013, Escobar figures to have a much larger role on offense in 2014. He has caught four passes for 84 yards in two preseason games.
"I think the more touches I get the more it shows what I can do," Escobar said.