With Jason Witten still in his prime and James Hannah displaying flashes of potential, I remember what I was thinking when the Cowboys used a 2nd-round draft choice on another tight end in 2013.
I thought Gavin Escobar must be special.
So far, Gavin Escobar isn’t special.
At 6-6, 250 pounds and with soft hands and quick feet, Escobar has the skill set to be the Cowboys’ version of Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. But last year as a rookie he was barely noticeable, finishing with only nine catches (though two were for touchdowns).
If the Cowboys are going to be better in 2014, Escobar is one of the internal players that needs to improve.
We know what we’re getting from Witten. Last year in his 11th NFL season he showed signs of slowing down, but still managed 73 catches, 851 yards and eight touchdowns. Production-wise, the old man is still a Top 5 tight end. But, truth be told, Escobar needs to push him. Now.
New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan found a way to utilize two tight ends last season in Detroit, getting Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria a total of nine red-zone touchdowns. With his size and skill, Escobar needs to blossom into a legit red-zone target for Tony Romo.
The Cowboys have too reliant upon Witten for too long.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.