There have been various stories published recently about the deficiencies of the Dallas Cowboys current roster, with the team’s questionable depth at running back comprising most of those headlines. But the Cowboys are also stacked with talent at other positions. They actually have so much depth in some areas, the coaching staff is going to have to make some very tough decisions when the team starts cutting down their roster soon.
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It’s for that reason one former Cowboys quarterback turned analyst believes the team may trade away one of it’s players due to their abundance of talent at a certain position.
Babe Laufenberg, who played at quarterback for Dallas from 1989 to 1991, is now a special contributor for the Dallas Morning News as well as being the color commentator for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network. While answering a question from a reader that appeared in an article on newspaper’s website on Monday, Laufenberg mentioned how he believes Dallas might trade a player from one of their more talented position groups before the start of the regular season in September.
"“[The Cowboys] are deep at tight end. The more I see of UT rookie Jeff Swaim, the more I like him. Signed to be a blocker (had just 10 receptions last year at UT), but I can see him developing into a reliable receiver. I will be surprised if a tight end is not traded before the season starts.”"
According to the Cowboys official website, their current roster at tight end includes: Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna, Ray Hamilton and Brandon Barden. Seventh round selection, Geoff Swaim, not being listed on the roster is likely a typo. And Hamilton was cut last week to bring in Barden.
If Swaim continues to impress this preseason, Escobar and Hanna are the two likely candidates to be traded away from Dallas. Hanna is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent at seasons’ end. The 26-year old is a well-rounded player who can both catch and block consistently. That’s the reason Hanna played 337 snaps last season, while Escobar played only 263.
But the former Sooner’s growth was stunted when Dallas brought in Escobar as a second round selection back in 2013. As a result, Hanna only recorded four catches for 48 yards last year. While Escobar racked up nine receptions for 105 yards and four touchdowns in 2014.
Escobar is a pure pass catcher and an excellent red zone target. And the Cowboys seemed to be using him as more of a wide recevier this offseason. That is mainly due to his total inability to block.
Although Hanna makes the most trade sense due to his expiring contract, Escobar may have the bigger value for potential suitors. For teams looking for a quality pass catching tight end, the former Aztec could be a perfect match.
Franchises like the Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland Browns, the Houston Texans, the Green Bay Packers, the New England Patriots, and the New Orleans Saints all make sense as potential landing spots for either player. And if you believe the Cowboys have a need at running back; the Browns, Patriots and Saints might have some players of interest on their current rosters to offer Dallas in exchange. It could be one of those win-win situations we’ve all heard so much about.