Prior to the draft I indicated many times the necessity of drafting an offensive guard. Stephen Jones is trying to spin it a different way in response to Brandon Moore deciding not to play for the Dallas Cowboys. His ideology is what they had planned isn’t working out. Everyone was able to see that the Cowboys starters were sub-par last year and the line needed to be addressed. His other excuse was the salary cap. The salary cap problem was created by them as well. The truth be told: the problem wasn’t the plans not working out, it was “The Lack Of A Plan!” This brings me to the heart of the matter. “Was Drafting Gavin Escobar A Wise Decision?”
I have been hearing a lot of people praising the offensive line play against the Miami Dolphins in the 2013 Hall Of Fame Game in Canton. Really? The Dallas Cowboys only had 266 yards of total offense. The Dolphins had 421. The fact that the Dallas Cowboys only had 97 passing yards and only attempted 21 passes is a strong indication that they have no faith in the pass protection. When you consider that they allowed 3 sacks and multiple pressures on such a low amount of drop backs, again I am scratching my head. Keep in mind, this was against the Dolphins backups. The Dallas Cowboys had three definite starters on the offensive line (Frederick, Free, Smith) and Ronald Leary, whom Jerry Jones raved about last year. He went as far as to say they had a 3rd round grade on him.
Alex Tanney had the most passing yards among the three quarterbacks. He had 58 yards to the combined 49 of Orton and Stephens. This makes sense because he is the most mobile QB of the group. Tanney also had the most attempts (11). The whole purpose of the preseason is to be able to evaluate the young players, especially the wide receivers and running backs. It is also to evaluate the young QB’s. It is impossible to do either properly when they only have 21 passing attempts between 3 quarterbacks as a result of poor pass protection. This brings me to the title of this article, “Was Drafting Gavin Escobar a wise decision?”
The Dallas Cowboys used a second round draft pick on Gavin Escobar. How big of a need was another TE? Jason Witten is playing at a pro bowl level and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. James Hannah showed that he is an adequate backup. The fact that most NFL teams don’t consider the position a high priority on draft day, suggests that they are a dime a dozen even as late round or undrafted prospects. The Dallas Cowboys had also signed the veteran Rosario for TE depth. The question now becomes: what were Jerry and Stephen Jones thinking? Gavin Escobar was not a “NEED”! He will be nothing more than a complimentary possession receiver in this offense. Factor in that Gavin Escobar isn’t a strong blocker and basically this was a wasted second round draft pick because the most glaring need on this team was the offensive guard position.
Only three offensive guards were taken in the 1st round: Jonathan Cooper, Chance Warmack and Kyle Long. (I can’t figure out for the life of me why Long was taken that high). This means that 7 of the top 10 guards in the entire country were still on the board.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar with the 15th pick of the second round (47th overall). At that point none of the remaining guards had been taken off of the board. This means that 2 of the top 5 guards in the entire country were still on the board. I had Larry Warford on my big board as pretty much tied for the second best guard in the draft. In fact, every board I saw had him graded higher than the Dallas Cowboys 1st round draft pick Travis Frederick. Most had him as a 3rd round prospect. NFL.com had a grade of 78.7 on Travis Frederick and a grade of 88.3 on Larry Warford (which was a higher grade than the 1st round pick Jonathan Cooper who had an 86.9). The fact of the matter is, if Larry Warford fell to the 3rd pick in the 3rd round, Travis Frederick probably would have fallen further than that. There was not a run on centers in this draft.
Gavin Escobar had a grade of 79.0 as compared to Warfords’ 88.3.Ã‚Â Again I am scratching my head. It’s easy to say that hindsight is 20-20, but the fact remains: the Dallas Cowboys had a glaring need at the safety position as well as the offensive guard position. John Cyprien was sitting on the board with a grade of 90.6 when they reached for Travis Frederick. (Michael Irvin was stunned and said why didn’t they draft the safety?)
The Jones’ can try and spin this anyway they want to, but the fact remains, they could have drafted the much needed safety John Cyprien at 31, Larry Warford at 47, and a serviceable center (most likely Travis frederick) in the 3rd round. Had they done this, they wouldn’t be spinning their wheels right now trying to address a make shift and weak offensive line. The bottom line is: drafting Gavin Escobar was not a wise decision at all. The fact is, the Dallas Cowboys are now in a dire situation due to poor planning.