Aug 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar (89) scores a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Kevin Minter (51) and safety Tony Jefferson (36) defend during the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Did the Dallas Cowboys Bust Again in Round 2?

The Dallas Cowboys have long known that the offensive line is the weak link on their team.  As it stands today, the starting offensive line will be Tyron Smith, Ron Leary, Travis Frederick, Mackenzy Bernadeau, and Doug Free.  On an interview on a Dallas sports radio station on Tuesday, Jerry Jones was asked his thoughts about the offensive line.  It was pretty telling that he did not mention the current members on the line, but rather stated that he feels going with two tight end sets will help the blocking situation, bootlegging Tony Romo and getting him on the move, and that he hopes the backs will also help in this department.  It has also been well chronicled their attempts to lure both Brandon Moore and Brian Waters out of retirement to come start on this offensive line.  With the team switching to a 4-3 defense this season, depth on the defensive line will also be key.  The team has already lost Tyrone Crawford for the season, and Jay Ratliff has missed all of camp, only become more injury prone in recent seasons, and will turn 32 in a week. Anthony Spencer has also not played a down yet this preseason.


Watching the NFL Draft is a fun time for fans of the game.  It is held in late April, roughly 2 ½ months after the Super Bowl and about 2 ½ months prior to the start of the first training camps opening up.  It gives the NFL fans a little taste of what they have been missing, and gets their interest piqued right when the NBA and NHL playoffs are starting up.

While watching from my home, I was able to come to grips with the team trading down and passing on Sharrif Floyd (DT) and Eric Reid (S) to later pick up Travis Frederick at 31. I told myself, at least we drafted OL in Round 1, he should automatically be a starter from day 1, and he comes from a college program that is known to produce quality offensive linemen.

What got me on day 2 of the draft was the absurd selection of Gavin Escobar at 47in Round 2.  I actually jumped out of my recliner and starting screaming bad things at the television set.  Jason Witten is still on the roster, and should still play at a high level for the next 3-4 years.  James Hanna, drafted late in 2012, looks to be a nice young player and has basically the same skill set as Escobar. I’ve long hated the selection of Escobar, but this past week I’ve started hearing guys on the radio start saying how they hate the selection as well.  Last weekend while watching the Cowboys/Cardinals game, I heard an announcer (who will go nameless here and who is a Cowboys homer) say “well if you don’t draft Escobar at 47, then who do you select?”.  To answer that statement, I’ve listed some names that look quite interesting today, and who would have looked good on the roster today.  I also preface this by saying that even though Escobar was taken at 47 by the Cowboys, doesn’t mean that was where he should have gone, as many draft experts felt 47 was too early for the player to be selected.

Johnathan Hankins (DT) was selected at 49 by the Giants (known for their strong DL play) and is a rotation with Lival Joesph, Cullen Jenkins, and Shaun Rogers.  Arthur Brown (LB) was selected at 56 by the Ravens and will be a starter this season.  D.J. Swearinger (S) at 57 will be the nickel safety for the Texans this season and looks to have a bright future.  Larry Warford (G) of the Lions came off the board at 65 and is competing for the starting RG position with Dylan Gandy and Jake Scott. Bennie Logan (DT) was selected at 67 and will be either the starter, or a rotation player at the least.

Tyrann Mathieu (S) wasn’t even on the Cowboys draft board as they had red-flagged him due to character issues.  However, he may be the steal of the draft at 69 by the Cardinals and might have been the safety the Cowboys have been looking seemingly forever for.  Lastly, Brian Winters (G) got drafted at 72 and will be the starting LG for the Jets.

I stopped this analysis at 72 because the Cowboys drafted at 74 and selected Terrance Williams.  When hearing people say “if you don’t draft Escobar at 47, who do you draft?”, the aforementioned names are just a few of the options.  The players mentioned above would have been great selections for the team, and I would of chose any of these guys over Escobar.  Yes, Escobar did score a touchdown late against the Cardinals 3rd string guys, but I was not impressed.  Sadly, the team has selected a tight in the second round three times in recent seasons with future hall of famer Jason Witten already on the roster.  With the drafting of Fasano (2006), Bennett (2008), and now Escobar (2013), the team has Cowboys fans flabbergasted and left scratching their head.  It is also these poor decisions in Round 2 that have contributed to the team’s lack of success over the last decade plus.


Follow Craig Cortemeglia on Twitter at @ccortemegliaTLH

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Gavin Escobar

  • Ware94

    The Cowboys followed there board fairly well in the draft. If the board stinks then the teams draft probably won’t be very good. They had Escobar graded very high. I know the Texans did too because one of there scouts lives 4 houses down from me. Lets see how he plays this year & next first before we conclude anything.

  • Will Martin

    How about Sean Lee and Bruce Carter? Both were 2nd round selections.

  • Chad Keller

    Lets not even talk about bust for a couple seasons. We just dont knoe right now. But these past few drafts, they have drafted really well and found great playere in the 2nd round. Let the kid play before we make an assumption

  • BajaJohn1

    You could have made the point that we need to reinforce the offensive line without trashing Escobar. Give him a chance.

    • R Ch

      A good point, BJ1, no need to rag on Escobar for being drafted. The issue really isn’t “is Escobar a TE worth #47,” but “what did Dallas need that #47 could best fill?” Yeah, there are two lines of thought on draft strategy, the “best athlete on the board” and “draft for need,” both with their advocates, and both, ultimately, are probably interchangeable. The OL was and is still in need of better talent, and #47 (in the opinion of most outside DC management) should probably have been OL and not TE…but it’s not Escobar’s fault if the Cowboys drafted someone they didn’t need all that much.

      • Ken Menees

        good point, also remember Hindsight is 20/20, Its easy to say they should have done this or that, and Yes I do believe Offensive line was needed more than TE, but Im at my job for 28 yrs. and not a Scout or Coach for a Reason…..its easy playing Couch QB, Owner or Coach!

        • CowboysWin

          but if the one getting paid to do it isn’t doing it very well, fans have the right to say so. Saying wait 3 or 4 years is silly. So we can complain now about Bennett or Bobby Carpenter or Roy E. Williams now? Thanks.

  • John Pollard

    Clearly Jerry is a great business man. However when it comes to evaluating talent and personell decisions he and Stephen leave a lot to be desired. I wish he and Jimmy would kiss and makeup.

  • weather command

    He is right on the money! Escobar was a pointless pick…before all the injuries, the oline and dline werethe glaring weaknesses …pleeeeeze….you win in the trenches….and the trenches have been the cowboy’s weekness for YEARS! Jerry Jones will prove to everyone that he is the reason they will win the super bowl…they are light year’s away…light years…

    …and everyone wants to blame Romo….if it wasnt for him last year’ they would have been 6-10 which is where they will be this year…I HOPE I am wrong?

    • CowboysWin

      Romo makes a 4-12 team an 8-8 team but no one will see it that way. Skipping over that trench player was a real poor decision at pick 47.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Article is spot on. Same mistake Boys have made twice before. Hanna is the #2 TE. Why draft a 3rd string TE? But really, this NOT about Escobar (though I believe this is a drafting mistake). It’s about the greater needs of the Cowboys and what they could have drafted. I for one wanted Larry Warford drafted. This guy was an excellent G in the SEC. College ball doesn’t get better than that. He would be a day 1 starter. Then the OL would be Smith, Leary, Fred, Warford, Free. The entire interior of the line turned over. 3 young road graders to pave the way for Muarry. That’s what should be.

    • Ken Menees

      Warford is slow off the snap, thats why He wasnt drafted higher,

      • CowboysWin

        Escobar was among the slowest TE in the draft and rated the dead last blocker of all TE in this class (PFF ratings). I think I’ll take the guy that dominated DL in the SEC over that, thank you.

        • Ken Menees

          Don’t they play different positions? Makes a difference! Thank You!

          • CowboysWin

            the fact that you don’t get it proves you should stay away from the “post” button. You’re welcome.

  • billy

    the cowboys must think escobars help in the red zone is more important than o line or d line help. i cant see any other strategy but its mystifying. that draft choice dosent even make common sense. as it turns out escobar dosent even look that good.they could have gotten a tight end as good or better in the 5th or 6th round or maybe escobar himself. i dont know whos idea this choice was but so far it looks like a bad one. jerry always tells it that their choices are made by committee decisions, if that is true i think they need to get themselves some better scouts. i dont believe this decision was made by several people. it looks a lot more like a jerry move

  • CowboysWin

    good points. Nothing against Escobar – not his fault, but watching the 5th round TEs look far better is just sad, given the talent that was there at 47. Arthur Brown, Bennie Logan, or Warford with the other picks would have been a fantastic draft.

  • John

    I’m with you – I’d rather have a great guard than a great tight end. But it’s just hard to call a pick a bust this early. We don’t really know what the guy can be yet. Maybe he’ll bust; maybe he’ll be a stud. You build a perennial contender by drafting the best talent you can first, and considering need second. Work your ass off to develop a great draft board then stick with it come pick time. Stack the roster with talent and create competition. String together a few solid drafts, and you’ve got a young, talented roster – a perennial contender. There’s no such thing as a can’t-miss second-rounder, so who can say what we might have gotten if we drafted for need?

  • Byron

    I am going to try to explain this as best as I can. First, I want to say that I was not a fan of the pick at first. I am still not really, but I’ve learned to deal with it. The reason the pick was actually intelligent was because of the Tony Romo contract. The chances that Witten maintains his current production throughout the course of Romo’s 100 million contract is low. However, the coaching staff and management realizes how important a sure handed, big body tight end is for Tony Romo. He still needs that type of security blanket because he’s had it his entire career. This isn’t an insult to Romo, my favorite player. It is just the truth. Management picked Escobar as an eventual replacement. They can’t take a risk to find one later. And they also believe he will dominate inside the 5 yard line because of excellent hands, a place where they have suffered from lack of production for the past few years.