Cowboys stocking up on tight ends for new wrinkle in pass offense

05/06/2013 8:59 PM

05/16/2013 5:22 PM

Not that they asked, but Jason Witten agreed — the Dallas Cowboys needed to draft a tight end if they’re going to make good on their commitment to a two‑tight end passing offense.

“Oh, yeah. I did,” Witten said on if he thought the Cowboys needed to draft a tight end, which they did — Gavin Escobar of San Diego State in the second round. “I think that’s a big part of where we’re seeing our football team go. I think, more than anything else, I looked at it and said it’s showing there’s a commitment to this package and growing that.

“When you take a guy that high, that’s something that you obviously see happening.”

Dallas lost tight end John Phillips in free agency to San Diego. The Cowboys will still have plenty of tight ends on the roster for camp, including Witten, Escobar, James Hanna, Colin Cochart, Andre Smith and undrafted free agent Paul Freedman.

Witten, who made public appearances in Mesquite (Albertsons) and Grand Prairie (youth camp) over the weekend, said it hurt to lose Phillips to free agency.

But he also expressed confidence in second-year teammate Hanna, who came on late last year to become a bigger part of the passing offense.

“James is going to be a good player. He’s got some ability and some speed that creates mismatches,” Witten said. “That’s the way this league is going, that you can create mismatches.”

Witten said he’ll give Escobar all the help he needs. He’s not going to pull the offended veteran trick and hold anything back from him.

“There’s no ego there for me,” he said. “It’s all about winning. That’s part of being a leader and a captain — is to help other guys play at a high level. There’s no hard feelings from that standpoint.”

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