Dallas Cowboys

Gavin Escobar sits and waits his turn

Jason Garrett traded high-fives in the Cowboys’ war room in 2013 after they drafted tight end Gavin Escobar in the second round. Escobar, though, hasn’t gotten on the field enough to have the Cowboys’ high-fiving about him anymore.

He played only four snaps in the Cowboys’ 20-17 victory over the Texans, the second-fewest of his 21-game career. For the season, Escobar has played only 62 snaps, making three catches for 18 yards.

“I guess it’s tough to be patient,” Escobar said. “You’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities when your name is called, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

The Cowboys have had trouble finding Escobar a role, because they have Pro Bowler Jason Witten as their starter and because James Hanna is a better blocker. Hanna played 20 of 76 snaps against the Texans as the Cowboys had 33 running plays.

“We have a lot of plays and packages for him to get out there,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Sometimes you get a chance to call those things. Other times, you are doing different things to try to win the games. So he’s ready. He is getting better. He is healthier than he has been. He did a good job fighting through his injury.  Hopefully he will get some chances as we go here.”

The Cowboys still believe in Escobar despite his limited role so far. He played only 206 snaps on offense last season, with Hanna getting 315. Hanna has 92 snaps this season, 30 more than Escobar.

“There are some things we think he does better than James Hanna,” Garrett said. “There are some things James Hanna does better he does. We try to give those guys opportunities to do what they do best when they are in those two tight end package. We have done some three tight end stuff up to this point. He is a good player, and he is getting better, and he is working hard at it. He will get opportunities as we go forward.”