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Is Gavin Escobar Ready For Last Opportunity?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Is Gavin Escobar Ready For Last Opportunity? 1

The Dallas Cowboys have several players entering their contract year with the organization and the 2016 season will go a long way in determining their future with America's Team.

Gavin Escobar in particular is an intriguing player entering last year of his rookie deal, but for some reason the Cowboys have failed to find a way to utilize his skill set. Something  that I find really strange considering the popularity of the receiver type tight end that is being utilized around the NFL.

We may end up seeing another tight end that was drafted in the second round move on and find success with another team in the NFL. It's a little sad when you think about it.

In fact, over the past decade the Dallas Cowboys have been terrible at drafting players in the second round. I've written about their 2nd round struggles and setbacks before, and my fellow Staff Writer here at Inside The Star, RJ Ochoa, took it a step further with his article last week discussing the Cowboys utter failure in the 2nd round.

Unfortunately, Gavin Escobar falls into the failure of finding players in the second round for the Cowboys, but I don't think it's entirely his fault.

You see, he was drafted with the mind that the Cowboys offense would utilize the two tight end set or 12 personnel more. That never really happened and has impacted the role that Escobar has had because he's going to have a hard time finding playing time behind Jason Witten.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Gavin Escobar Ready For Last Opportunity? 2Escobar's best traits are his size and receiving ability, but the Cowboys tried to turn him into an in-line blocker and unfortunately because of his size he has struggled in this area.

The Cowboys failure to incorporate Escobar into the offense is somewhat mind-boggling to me and I don't know if things will change too much in 2016. He is a mismatch waiting to happen and I personally think he would make the passing game for the Cowboys just a little bit more potent.

I was a little surprised however to see that he wasn't one of the players to start the season on the PUP list to start training camp. I for one wasn't even sure he would be able to return from his Achilles injury he suffered in week 15 last year in December and be ready for the week 1 season opener against the New York Giants.


Well, not only is he ready, he's out there practicing with everyone else in training camp. The Cowboys are however making sure that they take it slow with him and the other players on the roster that are returning from injuries.

No matter how you feel about Gavin Escobar, I think there is one thing we can agree upon. He had to put in a tremendous amount of work in rehab to be ready to participate in training camp.

I wasn't the only one surprised Escobar was on the field to kickoff training camp practices  and how speedily he recovered from his Achilles injury.

Babe Laufenberg on Twitter

A tribute to modern medicine that Gavin Escobar is practicing after tearing Achilles last year. https://t.co/dLPDRhJ8AA

It's true that the advancements in modern medicine have made these injuries less of a concern and allow players to continue their career in the NFL, but I don't want to take away from all the work Escobar had to do in rehab to be able to get back on the field as soon as possible.

In fact, it hasn't gone unnoticed. Former NFL scout and current Staff Writer for the Dallas Cowboys, Bryan Broaddus, was rather complementary after watching Escobar so far in practice.

"Escobar is moving better than he was pre-injury. There is some flow to his game without the stiffness or tightness we've seen in the past."

The fact that Escobar is doing everything that he can possibly do as a person makes you want to believe that he can become a contributor on offense. Hopefully, he can only get a chance to prove why he was drafted so highly in the first place.

So, is Gavin Escobar ready for his last opportunity?

I would have to say absolutely!

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share with everyone your thoughts and opinions about Gavin Escobar's last chance opportunity with the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Report: Cowboys S Xavier Woods Could Only Miss One Game

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Cowboys S Xavier Woods Could Only Miss One Game

The Dallas Cowboys might not be without their rising star at free safety as long as they originally thought. According to DallasCowboys.com's Bryan Broaddus, Xavier Woods could only miss this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.


BryanBroaddus on Twitter

They gave him a physical and didn't sign so that tells me a little something. Xavier Woods is not going to be out 4-6 weeks. Might miss one game... https://t.co/EFcpjlZnPH

Woods suffered a high ankle sprain this past Sunday against the Washington Redskins that was supposed to keep him out 4-6 weeks. If he is only out one game that would be amazing news for the Cowboys with the toughest part of their schedule coming up. Safety Darian Thompson is set to start this Sunday opposite Jeff Heath in place of Woods, with rookie Donovan Wilson and Kavon Frazier also their for insurance. Will Xavier Woods be back against the New Orleans Saints next week? Something to keep an eye on. More details to come.


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Devin Smith Has Opportunity to Shine in Michael Gallup’s Absence

John Williams

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Devin Smith Has Opportunity to Shine in Michael Gallup Absence

In the wake of today's news that Michael Gallup will miss the next 2-4 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to trim the meniscus in his left knee. Gallup was having another solid game for the Dallas Cowboys when he suffered the injury. It's an unfortunate setback for Gallup was emerging as a go-to player for Dak Prescott in the passing offense.

With Gallup's absence comes an opportunity for other wide receivers on the depth chart. The player most likely to benefit the most is former second-round pick and first-year Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Devin Smith.

Smith exploded on offense for the Cowboys in week two against the Washington Redskins. He had three receptions on three targets for 74 yards and a 51-yard touchdown reception that was the first score of the game for the Dallas Cowboys. After Gallup went down with the injury, Smith was the immediate beneficiary of snaps, catching his other two passes on the drive after Gallup's injury, including one that picked up the first down.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Devin Smith will take on a larger role with Michael Gallup out. This catch yesterday by Smith was his first TD since 2015. He has battled back from two significant knee injuries.

Devin Smith played 26% of the offensive snaps on Sunday and was dynamic and effective in the passing game. Afte the Gallup injury, any time the offense was in 11 personnel (3 wide receivers) Devin Smith was the next man up.

They used Smith on play-action twice and on an RPO signifying their belief in his ability to make plays in the passing game. The former second-round pick from Ohio State has excellent speed and showed out throughout the preseason and training camp to earn his spot on the 53-man roster out of training camp.

In fact, the team felt so good about Smith coming into the season that they were willing to subject both Cedrick Wilson and Jon'vea Johnson to waivers before placing them on the practice squad.


If Michael Gallup does have to sit out for four weeks, then Smith has an excellent opportunity to cement himself within the Dallas Cowboys receiving hierarchy and potentially audition for his next job in 2020, either with the Dallas Cowboys or someone else around the NFL. Smith had likely earned the opportunity to play ahead of Tavon Austin in the offense -- whenever Austin is back -- and how the next two to four weeks go could have a huge impact on the Dallas Cowboys and his own future.

With the emergence of Michael Gallup toward the end of 2018 and to start the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys offense has been much healthier and balanced. It hasn't had to rely on one player to carry the offense and the passing game in particular.

When the Dallas Cowboys have several receiving threats it makes life easier for everyone on offense and much more challenging for opposing defenses. With Devin Smith coming into the lineup, teams are going to have to respect his downfield speed, which could open things up in the short to intermediate areas for the rest of the offense. After his 51 yard touchdown on Sunday, opposing defenses will have to pay attention to Smith.

In week three against at tanking Miami Dolphins squad, Smith may have another big game. In week one, the Miami Dolphins allowed Baltimore Ravens rookie Wide Receiver Marquise Brown to go off for four catches, 147 yards, and two touchdowns. The two touchdowns were on receptions of 47 and 83 yards.

The Dallas Cowboys need Devin Smith to be an effective player in order to keep the balance they've had in their target distribution. Teams will shade coverage toward Amari Cooper with Gallup out and Devin Smith will have to take advantage. Over the last few months, Smith has shown flashes of the ability that once made him a second-round pick. Now he's got a huge opportunity ahead of him and the Dallas Cowboys need him to take advantage of it to have the same level of success they've experienced in the first two weeks of the season.


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REPORT: Cowboys S Xavier Woods Out 4-6 Weeks With Ankle Injury

Jess Haynie

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Xavier Woods

Another tough injury coming out of last week's game against Washington; Cowboys starting Safety Xavier Woods is now expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain injury.

This comes just a day after Dallas lost WR Michael Gallup for 2-4 weeks after surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

Cowboys FS Xavier Woods is expected to miss four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain, source said. A blow to the secondary with #Saints, #Packers among upcoming opponents.

The next man up at safety appears to be Darian Thompson, who has been with the Cowboys since midway through the 2018 season. He was re-signed as a free agent last March and is one of the key reasons that Dallas chose not to keep veteran George Iloka at final cuts.

Michael Gehlken on Twitter

Cowboys S Darian Thompson will make his first start Sunday since joining team in 2018, source said. S Xavier Woods is sidelined with high ankle sprain.

Earlier this morning, it was reported that Dallas is working out free agent safety Josh Jones. He was a 2nd-Round pick of the Packers in 2017 who was released last month after falling down the depth chart and demanding a trade.


Dallas still has Kavon Frazier and Donovan Wilson on the roster for safety depth. While many fans would love to see Wilson get the start this week, Darian Thompson's game and athleticism are more suited to play the free safety role.

Thompson also has experience, having started 17 games from 2016-2017 with the New York Giants. He was their 3rd-Round pick in 2016.

Thankfully, this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins gives the Cowboys a soft opponent with which to make these adjustments. But missing Xavier Woods is going to hurt; he is a rising star on defense and easily their top player at safety.


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