IRVING, Texas – Gavin Escobar has tasted success – just not nearly enough of it to this point.
Two stats perfectly encapsulate that for Escobar, who is about to enter his third season since being drafted No. 47 overall in 2013. In two seasons with the Cowboys, he has a mere 18 receptions to his name.
At the same time, a whopping six of those 18 catches have gone for touchdowns.
"I'm just out there trying to show everyone what I can do and trying to be more involved in the offense this year," he said.
That hasn't necessarily been the story so far. Case in point: Escobar made waves last October when he caught three passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants. It didn't last, as he only logged three more catches in the remaining nine games of the season.
"I think goals are really important, and for me it's just being more involved in the offense and doing whatever I can to stay on the field longer," he said.
As Escobar himself pointed out, there's no shortage of competition for snaps and targets. He plays the same position as a Hall of Famer in Jason Witten, and there's the presence of Dez Bryant – the NFL's receiving touchdowns leader in 2015 – to contend with.
"We have a lot of weapons on this team, so you've really got to take advantage of your opportunities and hope they'll keep coming once they do come," Escobar said.[embeddedad0]
Escobar's continued work in the offense can only help him, but this offseason came with an added benefit. This spring is the first time he's been able to work with Tony Romo during the offseason, as injuries have limited the Pro Bowl quarterback during Escobar's time with the team.
"It's nice, because instead of just me learning the plays and knowing where I'm supposed to be, we can kind of work on how I run routes, where he's throwing the ball – just chemistry," he said. "This being my third year, I'm getting more comfortable."
Comfort isn't going to be enough on its own, though – especially not with Jason Witten still chugging along at a Pro Bowl pace. Escobar said he's got improvements he can make to ensure himself a larger role in Year 3.
I'd say just being comfortable with the offense, taking my game to the next level and focusing on those details. Like anything else, you've just got to improve every day.
"Just being consistent in the run game – that's something from Day 1 that I've really had to show coaches that I can do. That's something that I still work on every day," he said. "Working on my routes, getting open, creating separation – just being consistent all through, being a consistent player and making plays."
The plays have come, albeit in limited fashion. The focus for 2015 is making them on a more regular basis.