2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Romo's voice heard as Dallas takes pass catchers

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-26 22:55

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Tony Romo's voice was heard on the second day of the NFL draft - just like it was on the first.

The Dallas Cowboys got him another tight end, even though owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn't see Jason Witten's career ending soon. And they grabbed him a receiver who used to catch passes from Robert Griffin III, even though Dez Bryant is coming off a career year.

The Cowboys took San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar with the 47th overall pick in the second round Friday night, then used a pick they got from San Francisco when trading down in the first round on Baylor receiver Terrance Williams.

Romo, who signed a six-year, $108 million contract with $55 million guaranteed last month, offered input on Escobar and Williams, and had lobbied for better blocking before the Cowboys traded down and got Wisconsin center Travis Frederick on Thursday night - a move mocked by analysts and derided by frustrated fans who've seen just one playoff win since 1996.

``We were looking at ways to give Romo's talents a better shot,'' Jones said. ``I'm unabashed about that.''

Williams was an AP All-America last season at Baylor after catching 97 passes for 1,832 yards and 12 touchdowns when Nick Florence was his quarterback. With Griffin throwing to him in 2011, Williams had 59 catches for 957 yards and 11 scores.

A Dallas high school product, Williams said he used to be Bryant on the scout team at Baylor when Bryant was at Oklahoma State.

``To get a chance to play beside him, that means the world to me because I get to learn from one of the best,'' Williams said. ``He's somebody that can help me throughout this whole process.''

Bryant had a quick welcome via Twitter.

``Congrats bro.now let's go to work,'' tweeted Bryant, who career highs with 92 catches, 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Williams played for Baylor coach Art Briles, whose daughter is on the public relations staff of the Cowboys.

``We feel like we know the player,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``He's just a really good young and he's been a very productive player down there.''

Six picks after grabbing Williams, Dallas made its first defensive choice at No. 80 overall with Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox, who was a receiver and running back his first three years in the Football Championship Subdivision, a notch below the top level of college football.

The Cowboys have taken five tight ends since Witten, the franchise leader in receptions, went in the third round a decade ago. None was drafted higher than Escobar, who went 22 spots higher than Witten went in 2003 and earlier than second-rounders Anthony Fasano in 2006 and Martellus Bennett in 2008.

Witten is entering his 11th season, but the Cowboys view Escobar as another dimension for their offense, not the heir apparent to Witten, who turns 31 next month and is signed through 2017.

``I'm always striving to be a complete tight end like Jason Witten,'' said Escobar, the highest choice at tight end for Dallas since David LaFleur was the 22nd pick in the first round in 1997. ``And if I'm able to take over his role once he's gone, that would be amazing.''

Witten became the first Dallas pass catcher with 800 career receptions last year. He's third on the NFL career list with 806 catches for 8,948 yards, trailing Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe in both categories.

Escobar fits the Witten mold in that he's a receiver first, which means blocking tops the list of areas where he needs to improve. He had 122 catches for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons with the Aztecs. His best year was 2011, when he career highs of 51 receptions, 780 yards and seven scores.

``Right now, I'm trying to just work on getting bigger and working on the run game more,'' he said. ``That's one thing I need to excel on to be a complete tight end, a three-down tight end.''

Based purely on draft status, Escobar would seem likely to replace James Hanna as Witten's backup. Hanna, a sixth-round pick last year, was drawing praise from coaches late last season. He was the third tight end behind Witten and John Phillips, a sixth-round pick in 2009 who signed with San Diego as a free agent.

``We like his length, we like his athleticism, he's a natural pass catcher,'' Garrett said. ``We're excited about the second tight end. This is a guy who can really come in and make a difference for us at that spot.''

The Cowboys have three picks Saturday - one each in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. They traded their seventh-rounder to Miami last year for center Ryan Cook.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jalen SaundersAug 19 09:43a

New York Jets WR Jalen Saunders (undisclosed) is out indefinitely after suffering a 'medical event' that led to a one-car accident.

Mike EvansAug 19 09:37a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans was named a starter, alongside WRs Vincent Jackson and Chris Owusu, by head coach Lovie Smith. Owusu will start in the slot.

Mike PattersonAug 19 09:23a

New York Giants DT Mike Patterson (shoulder) and TE Daniel Fells (knee) returned to practice in full Monday, Aug. 18.

Shonn GreeneAug 19 09:23a

Tennessee Titans RB Shonn Greene (knee) returned to practice Monday, Aug. 18. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) and OT Taylor Lewan (ankle) did not practice.

Odell Beckham Jr.Aug 19 09:13a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) caught a pass in 7-on-7 drills Monday, Aug. 18, and burst up the field. When he ran into a defender, he [ More ]

Ryan NassibAug 19 08:53a

New York Giants QB Ryan Nassib reclaimed the backup quarterback spot from QB Curtis Painter. Nassib was forced into the two-minute drill in the second preseason game and turned it into the game-winning drive.

David WilsonAug 19 05:23a

Former New York Giants RB David Wilson, who had to retire from the National Football League due to neck issues, is in training for the triple jump event at [ More ]

Blaine GabbertAug 19 04:53a

After another poor outing by San Francisco 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert, sources indicate there has been some talk about QB Josh X. Johnson being moved to the No. 2 slot behind QB Colin Kaepernick.

Johnny ManzielAug 19 12:03a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer completed two of his six pass attempts for 16 yards during the team's preseason game Monday, Aug. 18, and QB Johnny Manziel completed seven [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuAug 18 11:33p

Arizona Cardinals CB Tyrann Mathieu (knee) will come off the Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, Aug. 19, and there is optimism that he will be ready for the team's season opener.

Tracy PorterAug 18 10:53p

Washington Redskins LB Robert Jackson (shoulder) and CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) left the team's preseason game Monday, Aug. 18. Jackson is questionable to return, and Porter is out for the game.

Cordy GlennAug 18 10:23p

Buffalo Bills OT Seantrel Henderson started at right tackle and OT Erik Pears started at right guard during practice Monday, Aug. 18, with OT Cordy Glenn (illness) returning from [ More ]

Darnell DockettAug 18 10:02p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett (knee) will need season-ending surgery after an MRI on his right knee Monday, Aug. 18, revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Darius ReynaudAug 18 09:52p

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent RB Darius Reynaud (Jets) and free-agent CB Peyton Thompson (Redskins) to one-year deals Monday, Aug. 18. In a corresponding move, the team waived LS [ More ]

Blake BortlesAug 18 08:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles worked with the first-team offense for the first time during practice Monday, Aug. 18, taking three snaps in 11-on-11 drills.

Marquess WilsonAug 18 08:33p

Chicago Bears WR Marquess Wilson (collarbone) could be out until at least midseason after undergoing surgery to repair a broken collarbone, a person with knowledge of the injury said Monday, Aug. 18.

Sammy WatkinsAug 18 08:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) is day-to-day after tests confirmed that he suffered bruised ribs in the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 16, according to a person close to the situation.

Matt SchaubAug 18 07:53p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub will start the season-opener at the New York Jets. Despite a shaky start to his preseason, Schaub has the confidence of the coaching staff, [ More ]

Josh MorganAug 18 06:52p

Chicago Bears WR Josh Morgan will work as the No. 3 wide receiver during practice this week and could also fill that role during the third preseason game, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Henry MeltonAug 18 06:43p

The Dallas Cowboys would like DT Henry Melton (groin) to play during the preseason because he missed the last 13 games of the 2013 season with a knee injury. [ More ]

Darnell DockettAug 18 06:33p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett (leg) was carted off the field during practice Monday, Aug. 18, after suffering an apparent leg injury.

Cordy GlennAug 18 06:22p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) has been cleared to participate in team drills, according to head coach Doug Marrone. The team will see how he performs during practice [ More ]

Buster SkrineAug 18 05:43p

Cleveland Browns CB Buster Skrine (thumb) recently underwent surgery on his injured thumb. He is still slated to play Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Richard QuinnAug 18 05:33p

The New Orleans Saints have released TE Richard Quinn from the Reserve/Retired list.

Korey LindseyAug 18 05:23p

The Dallas Cowboys placed Korey Lindsey (hand) on no-recall waivers from Reserve/Injured Monday, Aug. 18, with an injury settlement.

Brandon BostickAug 18 05:02p

Green Bay Packers TE Brandon Bostick (leg) will probably miss the remainder of the preseason and could miss the team's Week 1 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Bostick is not expected to need surgery.

Owen DanielsAug 18 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels (legs) is being counted on to play Saturday, Aug. 23, against the Washington Redskins. Daniels is experiencing fatigue in his legs that should be [ More ]

Jimmy SmithAug 18 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (chest) underwent an MRI that showed bruising and bleeding from his lungs, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Harbaugh said the injury isn't serious [ More ]

Ricky WagnerAug 18 04:33p

Baltimore Ravens OT Ricky Wagner has won the starting right tackle job, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Harbaugh said Wagner earned the job.

Doug WorthingtonAug 18 04:12p

The San Diego Chargers waived/injured DE Damik Scafe (undisclosed) and signed free-agent DE Doug Worthington (Redskins) to an undisclosed deal Monday, Aug. 18.

Pat McQuistanAug 18 04:03p

The Atlanta Falcons placed OT Sam Baker (knee) on Reserve/Injured with a torn patellar tendon and signed free-agent OT Pat McQuistan (Titans) to an undisclosed deal Monday, Aug. 18.

Jon BeasonAug 18 03:53p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot), RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring), TE Kellen Davis (undisclosed), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), TE Xavier Grimble (hamstring), OT James Brewer (undisclosed) and CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group