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Is Tight End Depth A Concern For The Dallas Cowboys?

Is John Phillips a lock as the number two tight end?
Is John Phillips a lock as the number two tight end?

The good news about the Dallas Cowboys' 2012 free agency is that they managed to sign seven of the eight free agents they targeted. The bad news is that they missed out on one of their targets, tight end Kellen Davis from the Bears.

The Cowboys brought Davis in for a visit along with the other free agents in March, but Davis ultimately decided to re-sign with the Bears for $6 million over two seasons. In Chicago, Davis will be the numero uno guy and won't have to be the backup for a Pro Bowler like Jason Witten. During the first week of free agency, there were also reports that the Cowboys were interested in TE John Carlson from Seattle, but that interest didn't lead anywhere as Carlson quickly inked a five-year, $25 million deal with the Vikings.

It's pretty obvious that the Cowboys were looking for some additional help at tight end in free agency. Since then, they've drafted James Hanna in the sixth round, and brought in UDFAs George Bryan and Andrew Szczerba. But is that enough?

Nobody is going to be challenging Jason Witten for the starting spot anytime soon, and John Phillips looks entrenched as the number two, more by default than anything else. At least we know that at a recent home run derby at Rangers Ballpark, Phillips was the only one of the participants - a group that which included nine Cowboys players, Jason Garrett and Troy Aikman - to actually hit a home run.

The Cowboys typically carry three tight ends on their roster, so realistically, the competition at TE is between Hanna, Bryan and Szczerba for the third spot. They did start last season with four tight ends, so there may be an additional spot available there.

Each of these prospects has certain aspects that make him and interesting player for the Cowboys, as Archie Barberio pointed out in his recent take on the tight end roster battle.


Related: Dallas Cowboys UDFAs And Roster Battles: Tight End

Overall though, the Cowboys can't be too happy with their tight end depth. This is a position that will bear watching closely in training camp, and it wouldn't come as a big surprise if the Cowboys bring in a veteran tight end after final roster cuts at the end of training camp.