IRVING, Texas – Here's a look at Cowboys players to buy or sell in this week's Scout's Eye.
- Buying: Gavin Escobar
There has been plenty discussed and written about whether Gavin Escobar was worth where he was selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. What we all need to realize is that regardless of where he was taken, this front office can care less what we think. They had him with second round grades, and that's all I need to know. It is my job to report on what I have seen of the player and if you look at the limited opportunities he had last season, there are plenty of positives to go on. Go back and research the catches that he did make and look at those results. In this day and age of tight end play in the league, it is not about how you hammer defenders at the point of attack, but more importantly how do you get up the field and cause matchup problems with linebackers and defensive backs. This is where Escobar can shine. He might be a little bit of a stiff moving player, but his hands and toughness to make the play should never be in question. He has the traits to be a very productive tight end.
- Selling: Kyle Orton
This front office and coaching staff has made a commitment to have the best possible backup quarterback in the league if a situation happened to Tony Romo like it did in the Washington game. Kyle Orton lined up in Week 17 with an opportunity to put this team in the playoffs, and to his credit played to the best of his ability. We cannot pin that loss on him, but what should concern you more is his desire to not play this game anymore, if all the reports are true. The last thing I would want is to have a player that I am counting on to step in and handle the job with anything other than his full commitment to the cause. If that's the case, you need to find another man to handle the job. After what happened with Jay Ratliff, this organization has every right to take a hard line stance with his desire to walk away from the game. I learned something a long time ago from Bill Parcells in that if a player was talking retirement, he already was. I am getting Brandon Weeden ready.
- Buying: Morris Claiborne
[embedded_ad] Feel free to call me any name in the book you want about believing in what this team can get from Claiborne, I will take it like a big boy. You have heard me say this a bunch: the scout in me has seen this player make plenty of plays during his days while in college at LSU. The Cowboys were not the only team in the NFL that had him as the best corner on their draft board. Claiborne in my view has never been able to show you the type of player that he is because he has never been healthy enough to do so. A wrist, knee, hamstring and shoulder have all been factors in his inability to play at the type of level that many have seen from him before. It will not be easy for Claiborne to take that starting cornerback spot away from Orlando Scandrick, but if he in fact can put these injuries behind him, than you can see the type of player on a weekly basis that played in a shutdown role in a game in Philadelphia. Morris Claiborne knows he is at a crossroads in his career. I believe he is going to turn his career around.
- Selling: Justin Durant
I totally understood why this front office went out and signed Justin Durant in 2013. He was a 100 tackle player for the Detroit Lions and the opportunity to add those types of players doesn't happen very often. Plus, there were questions about who would step up and play the SAM linebacker on this club as they made the transition from 3-4 to 4-3. In my scouting view, Durant has the experience over both players but he is not nearly as talented as the two. When you look at the big picture, both DeVonte Holloman and Kyle Wilber are the types of linebackers that never come off the field. There are liabilities in Durant's game. Wilber and Holloman can play at the point of attack well, but give something in pass coverage. Wilber can even be used in games as an extra rusher. There was a usefulness to Durant, but those days have passed. I believe that he will be in the way of what will be one of the best battles for a position when Kyle Wilber and DeVonte Holloman go at it this summer. Taking snaps from them would be a mistake in my eyes, and that doesn't need to happen.