Dallas Cowboys

Geoff Swaim shows receiving skills, but still loves delivering big block

Geoff Swaim is becoming a receiving threat for the Cowboys.
Geoff Swaim is becoming a receiving threat for the Cowboys. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Reserve tight end Geoff Swaim found himself in a clutch situation when the Dallas Cowboys went to him on a fourth-and-one early in the first quarter.

Swaim made coach Jason Garrett’s gamble pay off, turning that play into a 28-yard gain. But Swaim felt he made a better play earlier in the series.

Swaim wrecked Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall with a vicious block on the first play of the series, opening room for Jason Witten to gain 29 yards and give the Cowboys breathing room after starting the series on their own 6.

Asked which play he preferred, Swaim didn’t hesitate in saying: “The block, for sure. I like playing physical, although if I would have gotten in the end zone, I might have been more happy with the catch.”

It seems like only a matter of time before Swaim finds the end zone for the first time in his young career. Swaim is becoming a bigger part of the Cowboys passing game.

Swaim leads the team in average yards per catch at 16.7, and has been targeted during critical times in the opening two weeks. This is for a guy who had only 13 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown in two seasons at Texas.

The Cowboys traded back into the seventh round in 2015 to draft Swaim, mostly for his blocking abilities. But Swaim has always known he could become a receiving threat, too.

“I don’t ever question that ability in myself,” Swaim said. “I know I’m able to do those things. It’s just having the opportunity to do it is a huge part of it. At Texas, I wasn’t asked to do that, so hopefully I can continue to do that here.”

Swaim has risen up the depth charts, too, with James Hanna sidelined with an injury and former second-round pick Gavin Escobar seeing limited playing time.

Swaim played 18 of 68 offensive snaps on Sunday, while Escobar was in for just seven. Starting tight end Jason Witten was among seven players who played every offensive snap.

“I’ve been so fortunate to with this organization, it’s been nothing but good to me,” Swaim said. “As far as playing goes, you don’t really know when your opportunity is going to come so you just prepare like you are going to be playing and prepare like you are their guy. When it comes, you’re not surprised by it.”