2013 Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks: Tight End Gavin Escobar On Tape

Kent Horner

In the second round, the Cowboys selected a player that owner Jerry Jones said will force their offense to be "different" in 2013. What kind of player did they get?

My thoughts from some study of Escobar's work at San Diego State

Games Watched:

2012 vs BYU (Bowl game)

2012 vs Boise St.

2011 vs Michigan

2011 vs Washington St


Ht: 6' 6"

Wt: 254 lbs

Arms: 33 5/8"

Hands: 9 3/4"


Route running: Escobar is a guy who is extremely smooth down the field. Runs good routes, and creates separation. Extremely good going up the seam and works leverage well. Comes back to the ball to help his QB.

Alignment Flexibility: Was used mostly as a package player by SDSU and moved all over the formation. Played in the slot, in-line as the Y, flexed as an H, and even in the back field as the Full Back on a couple of lead plays in 2011. This is especially key with a traditional Y like Jason Witten already in the fold.

Athleticism: Not a guy who will wow you with straight line speed, but his change of direction skills are very good. Plays a lot faster than his timed speed, beats DB's vertically and goes up to get the ball. I saw SDSU throw him a couple of different screens, the bubble and quick smoke screens when he's aligned in the slot, and a slow screen back to him when he was aligned as an in-line Y.

Contested Catches: A big part of making your QB's life easier is having pass catchers who win the battle for the 50/50 ball. When he and the defender have equal chance at the ball in the air, if your guy can consistently win those battles, it can get a QB like Joe Flacco a $100 million dollar contract. Escobar is a very natural catcher of the ball, and he high points very well. SDSU loved to throw the wheel route to him and it's easy to see why. Between the wheel and the seam routes, you see Escobar consistently threatening the top of the defense a lot more than you would think a 4.8 40 guy would.


Blocking: Escobar appears to be a willing blocker, but he's frankly just not very good at it at this point. He either leads with his shoulder and gets too close to the defender and is unable to control the point, or he lunges at a LB or DB at the second level and gets side stepped. I saw him get tossed aside by defensive ends a couple of times, especially against Michigan. The Aztecs liked to use him as a move blocker, coming around the corner on the Arc block in front of the RB, but he's definitely not a "thud" blocker at this point. He spoke about his need to improve in the run game at the next level, which, along with his frame makes me think he'll get better there, but as of now he's a liability there, and that's the main reason he was a package guy in college.


Escobar is a guy who can come in and play a role and make an impact immediately. His ability to make the contested catch and win the 50/50 ball along with his height make him a great red zone target, which the Cowboys needed desperately. He will play significant snaps, aligned all over the field and get legitimate targets in the pass game. I've read that he attacks the seam like Gronkowski does in NE but I haven't watched enough of either in detail to make that comparison. If he truly does have that ability then this team just got very dangerous and hard to gameplan for on offense.

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