Considering his limited opportunities, backup status to still-effective Jason Witten and battle to be offensively relevant among many weapons, he couldn't have expected much more. So he is hoping to become a better blocker, a skill the Cowboys feel he needs to improve.
Escobar did see more action in 2014 with 263 snaps, compared to 207 the previous year. He began his NFL career at 245 pounds, but is now up to 255 and hopes to land at 260 before the regular season begins.
"Every year I feel like I make strides, just understanding the game, being more comfortable playing in the NFL," he told the Dallas Morning News. "Every year I feel like I've been taking steps in the right direction."
A trio of
Also working his way into the score sheet was backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, who completed his only pass for eight yards.
Dallas is now on its bye week.
A mostly disappointing season for
But against the Redskins in Week 8, Witten was back in quarterback Tony Romo's sights, and Escobar was nowhere to be found. The second-year player didn't get a single target, playing only six snaps, while Witten got a season-high eight, playing all 65.
Witten also had a season-high 70 yards and scored his second touchdown this season. Granted, the touchdown came from backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, but Witten's other seven targets all came from Romo.
So were reports of Witten's demise greatly exaggerated? Well, 70 yards is still low for a season high, and the Cowboys are clearly looking to emphasize the running game this year. But if nothing else, you can trust Witten is still the tight end to own in Dallas, making him worth rostering in basically all Fantasy leagues.
In all, he had three catches for 65 yards -- numbers that would be easier to overlook if not for the two touchdowns and the fact that fellow tight end
Witten's production hasn't been up to his usual standards this season -- in seven games, he's averaging 3.3 catches for 38.0 yards -- but just based on their history together, you figured Romo would have a need for him sooner or later. Now with the emergence of Escobar, it's no longer so clear.
Escobar himself isn't worth adding except in deep leagues of 16 teams or more that don't have enough tight ends to go around. In those formats, he's the new Timothy Wright. But in leagues of 12 teams or fewer, Witten may be on the outs. He deserves a couple more weeks given his history, but keep an eye out for the next big thing at the position.
Escobar finished with just three catches, but made them count. In the first quarter, he hauled in a 15 yard strike from Tony Romo for his first score of the game. Escobar would strike again in the third quarter, this time from 26 yards out. Escobar finished with 65 yards, which was good for second on the team.
He'll look for more Week 8 against Washington.
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