Was Drafting Gavin Escobar A Wise Decision?

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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?”

offensivelineI 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.

AlexTanney9Alex 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.

GavinEscobarThe 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.

NCAA Football: Senior BowlGavin Escobar had a grade of 79.0 as compared to Warfords’ 88.3.  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.

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  • gcarr1213

    The Cowboys scouts had Frederick as an early to mid 3rd round pick in the draft I believe and they told Jerry not to pull the trigger on him in the first round and yet he did. Like you said Cyprien, Warford, Frederick, and Williams could have been had and that would have been a successful draft without Webb and Randle.

    • cjwright

      gcarr1213 This is the first time I have heard that Jerry ignored the scouts on Frederick. Do you have a source for that?

      • cjwright gcarr1213 I have one that was on the phone with a scout right before I talked to him and the scout was pist cuz he told JJ “NOT” to draft him in the 1st round. Do you remember during the draft when JJ and Stephen left the war room and Stephen cam back in looking pist off? that was because JJ insisted on Frederick. They had words in the hallway.

  • gcarr1213

    Our evaluation process on O line and S suck.

    • gcarr1213 Is it really the scouts or is it JJ and Stephen not listening to the scouts? Either way they blew another draft and it was one that was loaded with OL depth.

      • gcarr1213

        CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 We haven’t drafted a successful lineman since Gurode and Smith is the last one and he was taken in round 1. We keep trying to draft athletic guys and isn’t obviously isn’t working. Time to change ideologies in their draft process and stick with powerful big lineman.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22 prior to gurode they hadn’t drafted a decent OL since Flozell Adams and before him it was Larry Allen.

        • gcarr1213

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 Exactly someone has to give Jerry the guys to pick anyway so I also blame the scouts approach to the Offensive line.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22  I have to agree. To be honest, Smith still isn’t living up to the 9th overall pick. Aikman recently mentioned that he continues to struggle

        • gcarr1213

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 I am not saying Tyron is great but he is still only like 22-23 years still has a long time to develop. I believe that even Erik Williams took a while to even be decent in Dallas. It wasn’t until Emmitt arrived that the line looked beastly.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22 horse pucky lol Erick Williams shut down Reggie White as a rook and inherited the nickname Big-E. The Browns drafted schwartz in the 2nd round and he is playing better than smith

        • gcarr1213

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 But that line as a whole wasn’t great for a while didn’t Nate Newton suck for a little while as well. Just saying Smith will get better, but there is no comparison for Erik Williams period.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22 Newton started his first yr at tackle, but his girth made him a lil slow for the position his problem was failing his conditioning tests every year. They moved him to guard and put Williams at RT. Newton was a much better guard because he didnt have to be as quick on his feet.

        • gcarr1213

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 Oh well I don’t see any G in this years draft class that will be all that great as of right now. OT is good with players like Matthews, Lewan, and Richardson. Richardson could be moved to G maybe but I think that would be a mistake. DE would be Trent Murphy from Stanford.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22 Is till contend that Warford may end up the best of the bunch. Keep in mind how far Carl Nicks fell. Warford plays the same style of offense. The NYG got the steal of the draft getting Herman in the 7th round. He was my sleeper OG in this draft.

        • gcarr1213

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 I don’t have a sleeper as of yet for this year but maybe closer to when the draft starts.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22 I haven’t even started studying for next years draft yet lol

        • gcarr1213

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 I have to cause I was disappointed with this years class and this team will continue to go nowhere until we get O lineman.

        • gcarr1213 CowgirlCas22 JJ should have drafted DeCastro when he had the chance. I barely have time to study the current young players for my articles. Let alone start on next years draft class

        • cjwright

          CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 Erik Williams played sparingly as a rookie in 1991. He only started three games. I think the game you are talking about with Reggie White was in his 2nd year in 1992 – he held Reggie White without a sack. Williams did not play at all in one game against Philly in 1991; he played some in the other game (2nd week of season), but the Eagles sacked Aikman 10 or 11 times in that game.

        • cjwright CowgirlCas22 gcarr1213 based on the research I did for my ROH piece, He shut down White as a rook.

  • hardermc

    I’ve been a Cowboys fan all my life- but DAMN!, Jerry Jones et. al. can’t draft.  I’m sitting on the couch, watching the draft, and playing GM of the Dallas Cowboys, and here are my 1st 3 picks
    :
    1. Sharrif Floyd  DT
    2.  Travis Frederick  G/C if still  available since I wouldn’t have picked him in 1st.  If not, Larry Warford G
    3.  Warford if still available. if not, Steadman Bailey  WR
    I didn’t make this up after reading this article- I have it saved on my phone from draft day so I can show my fellow football junkies how much better (or not) I am at drafting from my living room than Jerry is from the war room.

  • rh_stranger1

    the cowboys didnt have to draft escobar or a guard. they could have drafted a guard instead of frederick, williams, wilcox… they had several chances to get a guard. now that being said, it is far to early to determine if it was a mistake drafting escobar. the man hasnt even taken one nfl snap yet. lets give it a few years before we start that conversation. also the cowboys wanted to run more multiple tight end sets so the obviously needed to get more tight ends to make that possible, which they did in both the draft and free agency. do i think they should have upgraded the guard position? absolutely. but it wasnt escobar or a guard

    • rh_stranger1 It’s not a matter of whether Escobar develops in to a solid TE or not: It’s a matter of “NEEDING” a Guard much more than a TE at the time.

  • rh_stranger1

    as far as the offensive line in the hall of fame game, i thought they played very well. it isnt easy to rack up 170 yards on the ground. its not like they had 1 run of 90 yards then 2 and 3 yard gains the rest of the game. also they had no running plays for negative yards. none! thats outstanding. i believe the lack of passing yards had more to do with our 3rd and 4th string qb’s. neither of those guys are going to make this team, and most likely no other team wants them either. i think the 3 sacks the dolphins put up has more to do with them playing their top 5 draft pick most of the game. and he was not getting pressure when smith or free was in there, that pressure once again came against 2nd, 3rd, and 4th string tackles. the cowboys played a textbook game. they got a lead, and played choke ball from there. they ran the ball and the clock and got the win. how many times last year were the cowboys able to hold a lead by running the ball? this was a vast improvement, both physically and philosophically

  • boysteamusa

    That’s telling it like it is Cas.  They final realizing Berny and Livings are nothing but 2nd string talent…and as you pointed out they had plenty of opportunity to fix it through the draft.   Now they will be caught with their pants down.  A shame to because the rest of this team seems ready to compete.  O-Line looks like it will be limping.  Romo friendly rarely means sound protection to them.

  • boysteamusa

    What totally baffles me is how did they wait this long to see this problem with their OGs?!

    • boysteamusa JJ has always been a procrastinator when it comes to the trenches. If it’s a CB or WR he will sell the farm to get them.

  • rh_stranger1

    another thought on the oline. you have to account for leary. he had a 3rd or 4th round grade on him last year. last year was basically a redshirt year for him.  they knew that he would come in to camp this year and compete for a job. and he hasnt disappointed. no matter what livings does leary took his job. i think they are scrambling for a guard now because the play of the oline in the hall of fame game and the ability to run the ball left jerry foaming at the mouth. he realizes he is now one player away ( right guard) from having a complete offensive line. as it stands berny, livings, and arkin will compete for that right guard job. i believe by the end of the preseason there will be some guards cut that the cowboys might have interest in.

  • cjwright

    Romo seems pretty high on Frederick:
    “Travis has done a great job,” Romo said. “They picked a good one there. He’s going to be a guy who’s going to help us a lot for a long time. I don’t know whether people are talking about whether or not we reached for him and stuff like that I guess at the time, but he’s good football player and we got a good first-round draft pick there.”

    • cjwright Romo is a class act: He is not going to say anything bad about a teammate especially to the media. This same guy said what a good job Free was doing last yr. The last thing a QB wants to do is piss off the guys protecting him whether they are doing a good job or not.

      • cjwright

        CowgirlCas22 cjwright good point.

  • Californy

    In the real World Escobar is currently behind Witten, Rosario, Hanna, and tied with Smith for the 4th TE spot on this team.  In JJ world Escobar is backing up Witten.   I notice in the game his unwillingness to block, it must be a business decision I guess.  Escobar for me is nothing more than a specialist, a player who only provides a certain skill set.  You don’t draft these player in the second round but JJ love the athlete.  Specialist to me are nothing but projects who don’t have the skill set to start.  It lucky that Dallas in their history have develop some nice TE.  A player like Escobar for me is not worth more than a 5th rd pick.  I like player who are solid in their fundamentals and Escobar is not one of those players.

  • Californy

    I watch Seattle game yesterday and wow was I ever impressed with their 2-3 string Offensive line.  Cable is a great coach and teacher, they have 4 solid RB on the team, 2 which are rookies.  A good offensive line make the skill player much better, I wished JJ would remember this.  For me it seem like JJ believe in the opposite.

  • knudsen88

    Completely agree with Cas’ assessments and position on the Escobar drafting, but we need to be careful here, and I quicly point out CJ’s statement about Jerry not listening to the Scouting personnel.  I don’t believe this to be the case at all.  Yes, Jerry holds the title and position of General Manager, but there were many, many minds and professionals (make note) in on all selections.  Like it or not, Jerry does not make decisions in a vaccum (for most decisions).  Many in the know, like a Bryan Broaddus, have always proclaimed Jerry seeks out all in personnel decisions.  We have nothing to prove otherwise.  Many to blame for OL deficiencies.

  • knudsen88

    Let me clarify that when I referenced CJ’s commentary below, I meant he also noted there have been no proven sources or insights that Jerry completely disregarded personnel input from the Scouts and Tom Ciskowski’s area.  Jerry tends to involve “all” in most all of his personnel decisions.  Go back and read the many articles which have been recently written on Larry Allen and his selection in the 2nd round.  There were many involved in that particular selection, especially when the rest of the NFL world was writing off Allen due to a perceived shoulder problem and the fact he didn’t face “top notch” competition at Sonoma State.

  • knudsen88

    The point of Cas’ article is dead on.  It’s not the fact the decisions were ignored or made the wrong way, it’s the fact they didn’t address the OG or OL need.  Period.  While the Cowboys are firmly committed to the 12/13 personnel formations, the fact remains Escobar was not a priority.

  • knudsen88

    The Brandon Moore sudden change of heart plays directly into the “leverage” hands of Brian Waters and his Agent.  It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.  Waters knows the Cowboys are desperate, and he’ll simply hold on until he hears a figure he likes (because he knows it’s a severe overpayment based on need).  He holds the hammer, and the Cowboys are simply reaching for “stop gap” measures.  They should not be here.  They should have as much depth on the OL and DL lines as they currently do in the WR and RB ranks.  The game of football is still about trench warfare, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

    • knudsen88 Waters is 36 and hasn’t suited up in over a yr. I don’t see him being in good enough shape to be reliable.

      • knudsen88

        CowgirlCas22 knudsen88 Agree completely, but sure as the sun will shine tomorrow, I have an “ugly” gut feeling the Cowboys will secure his services.  They’re desperate, and in desperate times come desperate measures. The Cowboys are poster people for this type of activity.

  • JiMMbo94Bware

    writers from dallas cowboys.com gonna be glamorizing larry warlords skills when we face them lions just like they are now glamorizing the game play of bennie logan DT from the eagles and demontre moore DE from the ny giants.Its just so crazy stupid how we had the chance to avoid these  line depth issues by picking up more linemen in the draft and we just didn’t.What else can it be other than the same stupid decisions from the god damn owner.I swear i hate him.

  • travist

    casisafraud  yes that is the real model named Paris Nichole Fillmore, who according to her facebook map is in canada doing a photo shoot at this time and has been, BUT WAIT< that is the pictures that Cas uses as herself???? Wow that would mean CAS is a FAKE!!! and always been. What kind of loser tries to make people think they are someone else to try and get ahead, that explains why this person has no clue about football as well. And why “her” if it is a her, ONLY Credentials is that her father watched football when she was a child, lol I think that makes all of us an expert. Paris Nichole has been notified. Waiting for response….

  • Obamamerica

    As long as Jerry can extract millions from the Cowboys brand, wins and losses are irrelevant. Time for every Cowboy fan to realize that and make decisions on merchandise or tickets with that knowledge in mind