*Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2015 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features tight end Gavin Escobar.*
Name: Gavin Escobar
Experience: 2 seasons
College: San Diego State
Key stat:The vast majority of Escobar's production came in one game against New York, where he accounted for 62 percent of his 105 receiving yards on the season, and two of his four touchdowns.
Contract Status:Signed through 2016
2014 Impact: It is very easy to be critical of Gavin Escobar because of where he was selected in the NFL Draft and how that selection has not lived to our expectations at this point of his career. The first mistake we make is that we all want to believe that he will be the next Jason Witten and that is not fair. There is an extreme possibility that this club will never draft another tight end that is even remotely close to the type of player that Witten has been. With all that being said, there are those in the organization that believe that Escobar made strides in his development as a full time player. He will never be the type of tight end that will physically be as impressive as a Witten but there were snaps where his point of attack work improved and as the season progressed you could see that the coaching staff was more willing to put him in a position to be a blocker. He is still not where he needs to be strength wise but in 2015 – we should see improvement in that area. He has the frame to add weight and strength. If there is another area I would like to see him improve in it would be in his overall quickness. He is not as stiff as he once was but would like to see him get quicker which I believe would help him in his blocking and route running. Escobar is a tough player and I base this observation on the snaps where I have seen him go inside, catch the ball and take a big hit. His hands and height will always be his best traits which could be consider rare in scouting terms.
Where He Fits: There was a time in his career where you might have only thought that Gavin Escobar was just tight end that was not capable of functioning as anything but a tight end that played in space but that's not the case at all. As we see him develop more strength and power he will get more opportunities to play at the point and along the line of scrimmage. Other than Terrance Williams there is not a more productive player on the squad when it comes to targets and touchdowns. This staff needs to find more ways to get him evolved in the game plan because he is a talented player that can cause problems in his matchups.
David Helman:What a tantalizing glimpse we got of Escobar in that Week 7 win against the Giants. His 6-6 frame and fantastic hands showed up in a big way, as he hauled in three catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns. There's no denying he's a good red zone target, as all four of his touchdowns came from 26 yards or closer. Having said that, he never came close to any kind of consistency, as he finished the season with just nine catches for 105 yards. The second half of the season was especially disappointing, as he caught a measly two balls for 20 yards from Week 8 to Week 17. Escobar's career progression would be great if he was a fringe player, like Cole Beasley was when he signed undrafted in 2012. But that's not the case – Escobar was the No. 47 overall pick in 2013. He's still got two more seasons on his rookie deal to develop as an all-around tight end and improve his game. For where he was taken, though, you'd have to call him disappointing to this point in his career.