IRVING, Texas – Gavin Escobar doesn't want to be labeled only as a pass-catching tight end the rest of his life.
The second-round pick from San Diego State might have the best hands among tight ends in the draft, but he wants to become the kind of all-around threat that the Cowboys already have in Dallas.
"I'm really excited to be a complete tight end like Jason Witten, and if I'm able to take over for him one day, that would be amazing," Escobar said.
He may need to wait a while for that to happen, as Witten, who's turning 31 in three days, won't be hanging up his cleats any time soon. That's fine with Escobar, who wants to learn as much as he can from the star while he can.
Escobar knows Witten's the No. 1 threat in Dallas. One of the rookie's goals is to still be in Dallas by the time Witten retires. He hopes by that time he'll be a well-rounded tight end, capable of playing all three downs like Witten and Tony Gonzalez.
"You couldn't ask for a better place for a rookie tight end to land," Escobar said.
Right now, Escobar's aware that his best attribute is catching passes. He's a 6-6 target with reliable hands for Tony Romo to throw at, which should help the team particularly with its red zone woes.
Escobar's looking forward to catching passes from Romo, whom he described as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The tight end should be getting a fair share of targets, particularly if he's on the field as often as head coach Jason Garrett made it sound.
"You have to make sure that we use those guys the right way to maximize their potential," Garrett said. "We have been a team that has played a lot of '12' personnel in the past like we have talked, so that is not something that is foreign to us, but we have got to make sure that within that, that we are maximizing the talent of our players."