Dallas Cowboys: Should Gavin Escobar Be Re-Signed?

Dallas Cowboys backup tight end Gavin Escobar is a free agent this offseason. Should the Boys look to re-sign him or cut ties after a lackluster four seasons?

More was expected of Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar during his tenure with the franchise. The Cowboys have been looking for a quality second tight end for years, but none have really worked with the franchise. With Jason Witten just finishing his 13th season in Dallas, eventually the Cowboys are going to need a Plan B to replace the ageless wonder and future Hall-of-Famer.

Right now for the Cowboys, it would do the offense well if they can get a player to groom and actually stick with the team when they have their success. The Cowboys at one time had Martellus Bennett on their roster after drafting him, but that didn’t work out. Following the departure of Bennett, the Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar, which hasn’t amounted to anything great either.

After being drafted 47th overall in 2013, Escobar has underperformed for the franchise. Some of that might be due to a lack of time on the field. In all honesty, though, he has just 30 receptions in 62 regular-season games over four seasons, so there is more to it than that.

The Cowboys have never targeted Escobar much when he’s on the field, being thrown to a mere 48 times in his four years in Dallas. His 2016 season was his worst, however. Escobar became an afterthought in the new and improved offense of the Cowboys, grabbing only four receptions for 30 yards on just seven targets all season. Escobar has scored at least one touchdown in each of his four NFL seasons, though, and has a career average of 11.1 yards per catch.

All of that said, it is just tough to see Escobar being a part of the Cowboys next season, unless it is on a one-year deal. Maybe the tight end just doesn’t fit in with the way the Cowboys want to run their offense, or maybe he needs a change of scenery. But if there was a bet placed, the odds should be against Escobar re-signing a deal for longer than one season with the Cowboys.

The upside of Escobar has always been his most intriguing asset and/or feature. Dallas must have thought very highly of him back in 2013 when they selected him in the second round, but four long years later, he still wasn’t the top backup tight end on the roster when all were healthy.

Plus, with the 2017 NFL Draft approaching at the end of April, the Cowboys could use one of the mid-round picks to replace him and maybe this time find the heir apparent for Witten whenever he decides to hang up his silver helmet with the blue star.

It is always tough for a team to realize the player they selected in the second round isn’t going to pan out for them, but the Cowboys have a history as of late seeing their choices in the second round not pan out. Here are the Cowboys’ second-round draft selections the past five seasons (since 2012):

  • 2012: None
  • 2013: Gavin Escobar (47th)
  • 2014: DeMarcus Lawrence (34th)
  • 2015: Randy Gregory (60th)
  • 2016: Jaylon Smith (34th)

It’s worth noting that this list is preceded by Sean Lee (2010), who is still playing great for the Cowboys, and Bruce Carter (2011). The latter was also a serviceable player for the Cowboys in his four seasons with the franchise.

Amidst Escobar’s struggles, though, Lawrence and Gregory have spent too much time suspended and have produced marginally when on the field. Smith, however, has yet to see the field and still has the potential to be a special player.

But from what we’ve seen with Escobar, it appears unlikely he returns. If he were to, though, it’d be a massive shock for it to be on anything other than a short-term deal. That is to say, he’s going to have to really prove he can provide to the Cowboys offense for next season.

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