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:
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.