Star Blog 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: TE Gavin Escobar Published 2 years ago on January 18, 2016 By Sean Martin Share Tweet Continuing my look at Cowboys players who will be playing in their contract year this upcoming 2016 season, and sticking with the offense, it’s time to take a look at tight end Gavin Escobar. Escobar was the Cowboys second round pick in 2013, although many may not remember. The three-year player has just 26 career catches, with just 7 career touchdowns. As we all already know, Jason Witten is the man you think of when the words “Cowboys” and “tight end” are used in a sentence. However, with Witten slowly approaching the end of his run in Dallas, the Cowboys need to look to the future of the tight end position. They did so in the most recent draft as well, selecting Geoff Swaim in the seventh round. This leaves Witten, Escobar, Swaim and James Hanna on the roster at the tight end position. Hanna’s contract expired at the end of this season, and the future of the team’s blocking tight end is up in the air. The thought has been that Swaim can potentially fill in this role, but he is unproven starting just one game this season and recording one reception for no yardage. Either way, Escobar’s role on this team is vastly different from that of Swaim or Hanna. While he can block when asked to, the 6′ 6″ target serves as a large target to throw to. Escobar is severely underused in Scott Linehan’s offense, which struggled mightily in the red zone this season. Should Escobar be given more of a chance in 2016, here is what he will need to do to earn an extension: Gavin Escobar Let’s say, much to the demise of fellow Staff Writer RJ Ochoa, that the Cowboys do not draft Laquon Treadwell with the fourth overall pick in this draft. This mean’s that the league’s 30th ranked offense in terms of red zone TD percentage would enter the season with Dez Bryant as their only true top-end red zone threat. That is, unless Gavin Escobar steps up. If Escobar can show the awareness to develop chemistry with Tony Romo and beat defenders into the end zone, he could quickly become a fan favorite player while scoring touchdowns for the 2016 Cowboys. Escobar did record four touchdowns in 2014, before disappearing once again without Tony Romo this season. The return of Romo will help a lot of players next season, including Brice Butler and Terrance Williams – who will both also be playing in contract years. Click their names to read their breakdowns. We can go ahead and add Gavin Escobar to that list, as he hopes to have a breakout contract year in 2016 for the Dallas Cowboys. Tell us what you think about “2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: TE Gavin Escobar” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL! ADVERTISEMENT Related Topics:Gavin EscobarGeoff SwaimJames HannaJason Witten Up Next 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: RB Darren McFadden Don't Miss Larry Fitzgerald Catch Draws Epic Twitter Response from Dez Bryant Sean Martin Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL. Advertisement You may like Chargers Handling of Antonio Gates Gives Cowboys Blueprint for Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys Potential Salary Cap Casualties WATCH: Jason Witten Talks Career With Cowboys At Players’ Tribune Cowboys’ TE Position Hurting Offensive Production? Rumor: TE Jason Witten Could Be Eyeing Tennessee Coaching Job Cowboys Receiving Threats Are No Longer Threatening 3 Comments http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie It would be a shame to see Dallas let another talented TE go become a stud elsewhere (see "Bennett, Martellus"). Escobar has clear talent, evidenced by what he's done in preseason games and the rare opportunities he gets when it counts. He'll have just turned 26 when his contract expires in 2017. Hopefully we're not spending another 2nd/3rd rounder on a TE in that draft. RJ Ochoa You could also throw John Phillips and Anthony Fasano in that mix. So… Yay for not utilizing backup Tight Ends! Sent from my iPad using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app Keith Denney Tight End is the very least of our problems!! I am sick of hearing HOW TALENTED the Cowboys ARE with only 2 decent season's during Tony's era!!! Star Blog Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps Published 1 day ago on January 20, 2018 By Mauricio Rodriguez Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Right now, it’s pretty tough to predict how the 2018 Dallas Cowboys’ season will turn out. Even with Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli all returning for next season, there’s a lot of change going on in Dallas. The Cowboys will have to deal with a lot of new position coaches as they try to get back to the top after a 9-7 season in 2017. Obviously, there are a lot of things that’ll impact the outcome of this season. Will we see a better version of Dak Prescott after a year which seemed to be his learning curve? Will Dez Bryant even be here next season? Will the front office be able to keep DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving and Anthony Hitchens? One of those questions hasn’t been discussed much. That question is: how will the 2017 rookie class fare in their sophomore seasons? In 2016 and 2017, rookies were very important for this franchise. Two years ago, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took the NFL by storm, ending the season with a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC. Anthony Brown looked to be the Cowboys’ future shutdown cornerback, and Maliek Collins looked very promising. Last season, the Cowboys didn’t have rookie seasons as spectacular as Dak and Zeke had in 2016 (I don’t think we’ll see anything similar in the NFL for a long time), but the rookie class ended up being a very important one for sure. After letting a lot of veteran players walk in free agency, the team went ahead and fixed the secondary by drafting Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in consecutive rounds, and trading up to get Xavier Woods in the sixth. Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins) Jourdan Lewis made his presence felt early in the season, while we had to wait a bit to see Chidobe Awuzie in action. Both of them had surprising rookie seasons and they truly look like the future in Dallas’ secondary. Both have shown what they’re capable of; we’ve seen them make plays and turn their heads to the ball… really, something we hadn’t seen in a long time. Ryan Switzer didn’t get a chance to play as a wide receiver that much, but he was very impressive as a returner. He still has a long way to go, but I’m betting on Switzer to remain among the NFL’s best returners for a long time. After seeing him replace Cole Beasley in the season finale, I’ll be shocked if Dallas doesn’t give him more playing time on offense next year. He deserves a more important role. Taco Charlton still has a lot to improve on, but surprisingly, he did a nice job during the final games of the season. It’s always premature to call a player a “bust” after a single season, and Taco’s been called a bust since the moment he was drafted. Let’s give him a chance. For 2017, we set the bar high for the Cowboys’ sophomores. We thought Dak Prescott would be among the best QBs in the league, that Ezekiel Elliott would pass the 2,000-yard mark, that Anthony Brown would be an ideal CB1, and that Maliek Collins could even lead the team in sacks as a defensive tackle. There are a lot of reasons this team struggled in 2017, and some of those reasons still preoccupy us when thinking about next season. The Cowboys will definitely need their 2017 rookies to continue playing quality football. It will be key if they want to leave a painful 9-7 season behind and get back to winning this year. Here’s to hoping the Cowboys’ 2018 sophomores avoid the “inevitable slumps.” In a season filled with uncertainty, they’ll sure be needed. Tell me what you think about “Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018? Published 2 days ago on January 19, 2018 By Mauricio Rodriguez Dez Bryant es ese jugador que incontables veces me hizo gritar y saltar de alegría con sus excepcionales recepciones y su manera de pelear el balón en el aire. Tantos momentos tan memorables con Tony Romo e incluso algunos con Dak Prescott lo han vuelto uno de mis jugadores favoritos… Pero ahora, después de una difícil temporada de los Dallas Cowboys, los sentimientos están encontrados. En muchos momentos, no parece que estamos viendo al Dez Bryant de antes. Claro, podemos decidir recordar esa recepción de touchdown que rompió el récord de la franquicia contra los Redskins, o esa escapada de 50 yardas en New York en la semana 14. Pero Dez no ha sido el mismo las últimas tres temporadas. Y este 2017, todos los momentos de frustración culminaron en el partido que eliminó a los Cowboys de la temporada. Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a los Seattle Seahawks, un fumble acompañado por un pase soltado de Dez que resultó en una intercepción, todos nos pusimos a pensar. La cosa no es que Dez Bryant sea un mal receptor. El talento está ahí, y es fácil verlo en ciertas jugadas. A veces es visible cuando atropella a algún defensivo, a veces cuando busca el balón y consigue atraparlo de una manera impresionante. Quizá el próximo año se sacuda la mala racha que ha tenido los últimos años y encuentre una manera de ser el jugador que alguna vez fue… el problema es la cantidad de dinero que se le paga. Después de la temporada del 2014, cuando Bryant terminó el año con 16 touchdowns y más de 1,300 yardas, el receptor estrella firmó un contrato por $70M. Los Dallas Cowboys tienen frente a ellos una pregunta muy importante que resolver este offseason. ¿Deberían Deshacerse de Dez Bryant? A pesar de tener una mala racha, la razón por la cual Dallas le diría adiós a Dez es su contrato. Dez está listo para cobrar $16.5M en el 2018 y otros 16 millones y medio en el 2019. De ser cortado, los Cowboys se ahorrarían ocho millones y medio la próxima temporada. Suficiente dinero para firmar a un jugador que realmente haga impacto esta agencia libre. Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports) Normalmente, cuando hablamos de jugadores como él, hay muchos conflictos para los aficionados. Vaya, yo mismo acabo de plantear que es uno de mis jugadores favoritos, pero quizá a veces el cambio es necesario. Sí, la producción de Dez Bryant no ha sido la misma desde la última temporada que tuvo con Tony Romo. Pero ¿es eso excusa suficiente? Basta pensar en jugadores como Larry Fitzgerald y DeAndre Hopkins para darse cuenta de que no. Aún con quarterbacks mediocres, ambos se mantienen como receptores de elite en la NFL. Es cierto que Dak Prescott no es el mismo QB que Romo era, y no es un jugador que vaya a lanzar pases profundos tan frecuentemente como Tony lo hacía, pero eso tampoco significa que sea algo malo necesariamente. Este equipo le construyó un equipo a su ex-mariscal para sacarle todo el provecho al #9. Es hora de hacer lo mismo por Dak Prescott. Insisto en que los Cowboys tienen que buscar a un WR tan pronto como en la primera ronda del NFL Draft o incluso hasta en agencia libre. Los Dallas Cowboys tienen tantas cosas que hacer antes de la próxima temporada y decidir que hacer con uno de sus jugadores más emblemáticos de la actualidad, Dez Bryant, es una de ellas. ¿Les gustaría ver a Dez Bryant de vuelta en el 2018? Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018? Published 3 days ago on January 18, 2018 By Brian Martin The Dallas Cowboys clearly had a specific role in mind for Ryan Switzer when they drafted him 133rd overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Come to find out, that role didn’t include being involved much on the offensive side of the ball, at least not as a rookie. After watching the way the Cowboys utilized Ryan Switzer in 2017, it’s pretty obvious the sole purpose he was drafted was to improve the special-teams play in the return game. They clearly didn’t envision him being a part of the game plan on offense, despite the continuous outcry from fans. Like most rookies, Ryan Switzer didn’t really get off to a fast start, and took a while to get used to the speed of the NFL. But, once he calmed his nerves and regained his confidence, he proved to be an upgrade in the return game. Switzer ended up ranking third in kickoff returns, averaging 25 yards per return in 2017 and 12th in punt returns with almost 9 yards per return. He also became the first Dallas Cowboys player to return a punt for a touchdown since 2013. He accomplished this against the Washington Redskins, in Week 13 when he took an 83-yarder to the house. Surprisingly enough, using Ryan Switzer solely as a return specialist wasn’t enough for a lot of Cowboys Nation. A lot of fans wanted to see his talents utilized more on the offensive side of the ball as well, but were only left disappointed. Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer Getting Switzer involved in the offensive game plan just wasn’t in the cards in 2017. He only managed to catch six passes for 41 yards and rushed four times for 5 yards. This isn’t exactly what Cowboys fans envisioned after hearing Switzer was opening a lot eyes in training camp and organized team activities (OTAs). That was the main problem. He was hyped up so much heading into the season that fans expected to see him involved much more on offense. The Cowboys, on the other hand, had something else in mind, but I doubt that’s the case for the upcoming 2018 season. I really think we’re going to see an increased role for Ryan Switzer next season. The Cowboys coaching staff should have a much better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses now that he has a year in the system under his belt. And, they’ve seen firsthand how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands. What the Cowboys coaching staff will have to determine this offseason is just how big of a role Switzer will have next year. Should Switzer take Cole Beasley‘s job? Cole Beasley, like the rest of the Cowboys receivers, had a down year in 2017. We shouldn’t assume that his job is safe, especially with someone like Ryan Switzer waiting in the wings. But, is Switzer ready to take over full-time? Tough decisions will have to be made eventually, but such is life in the NFL. Will Ryan Switzer see an increased offensive role in 2018? ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Sportsbook odds for all Dallas Cowboys games Reader Survey Want to help make Inside The Star better? We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device. > Take the survey now Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.). Advertisement Advertisement Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! 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