IRVING, Texas – This offseason might have been more important for Gavin Escobar than anyone on the team.
The tight end needed an offseason of training and strength-building to be able to handle everything the Cowboys envisioned for him after taking him as a second-round pick last year, and starting early after the season ended helped him get to where he needs to be.
"I probably got here around February for good," Escobar said. "I was in here four days a week, running, lifting and just taking care of my body on the weekends."
Escobar said at first he was joined by Jeff Heath and Cameron Lawrence, and soon after Jason Witten joined the group and led the workouts.
"We just did what he did," Escobar said. "I thought that was great, just being able to work out with a bunch of the guys."
The majority of Escobar's offseason was dedicated to weights. But in addition to the training, Escobar also needed to eat better to put on the right type of weight.
"I was trying to eat as much as possible," he said. "I had eaten McDonalds. I was trying to eat good. We have a nutritionist, I was talking to her a lot, but really I was trying to get stronger in the weight room."
For Escobar, it was less important he added more pounds and more important he turned his weight into muscle. Escobar said he came in this offseason at around 250 pounds and ended it around 255, and his strength has increased since the end of last season.
"I'm kind of fluctuating now because of the practice and running, but it was more strength," Escobar said. "The weight I wasn't too much concerned, I was just trying to get stronger, and I definitely did that." [embedded_ad]
After catching nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns his rookie season, Escobar hopes the work he put in this offseason and the additions of play caller Scott Linehan and tight ends coach Mike Pope will help him increase his role in 2014.
"Hopefully," Escobar said. "I want to be on the field as much as possible. But we're just learning our offense right now. Everyone's getting plenty of reps. It's going good so far."