Dallas Cowboys

Gavin Escobar ready for increased playing time, not looking to future

Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar caught his only target this season for a 2-yard touchdown catch against the Browns.
Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar caught his only target this season for a 2-yard touchdown catch against the Browns. Star-Telegram

Gavin Escobar hasn’t played much on offense this season – 47 snaps to be exact. So the Cowboys’ third tight end had little opportunity to audition for other teams.

Escobar gets that chance now.

Geoff Swaim’s torn right pectoral tendon assures Escobar playing time, with the injured James Hanna the only other tight end on the roster behind starter Jason Witten.

“I’ll definitely have more opportunities,” Escobar said Tuesday. “Our motto all year is next man up and that’s kind of the situation right now. It’s tough to see Geoff go down. But we’ll step up.”

Swaim played 203 offensive snaps before his injury Sunday against the Steelers. The Cowboys will place Swaim on injured reserve, promoting Escobar as the team continues to search for a third tight end option.

Escobar has only one target this season, but caught his only pass for a 2-yard touchdown against the Browns.

“I mean just as any competitor, you want to play as much as possible, and obviously I want to be on the field as much as possible,” Escobar said. “I knew opportunities would come whenever, just like the Browns game a couple weeks ago. Just got to stay ready.”

Escobar played a season-high 18 snaps Sunday against the Steelers. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Escobar has improved as a blocker since arriving as a second-round pick in 2013.

“He came in and took that role, and he comes to work every day and prepares and prepares and prepares,” Garrett said. “It’s a great example for the rest of the team. Your situation just changed. You’re in. Are you ready for it? And he did a nice job.”

Escobar becomes a free agent in the offseason when the Cowboys are expected to let him seek a better opportunity elsewhere. He refuses, however, to think about the future.

“I don’t think about it that much, because I can’t,” Escobar said. “We’re doing something special this year. We’re focused on one game at a time. My focus is on the task at hand.”

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