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May 16, 2014

New tight ends coach says Giants viewed Gavin Escobar a lot like Cowboys did: 'more of a receiving player'

New Cowboys tight end coach Mike Pope said his former team, the Giants, rated Gavin Escobar about where the Cowboys did.

“We had him pretty close to where Dallas had him. Absolutely,” he said. “More of a receiving player, because he played in space, played in an upright stance most of the time.”

Pope joined the Cowboys after spending more than 20 years with the Giants, being on staff for all four of their Super Bowl championships. He was let go in January after the Giants brought in a new offensive coordinator.

Pope said there is no doubt Escobar, the Cowboys’ second-round pick in 2013, can catch the ball.

“He’s got a flytrap for hands. He’s got tremendous catching ability,” he said. “He’s got those basketball-type skills. He can contort his body and make the acrobatic catches. He’s a very, very, very high-percentage catcher. When he’s the target, if the ball gets close to him, he can adjust to it. And he’s very brave running around on the field, because he’s a big target. They can hit any part of the three feet on him. He’s a big target. But he’s courageous.”

Escobar was held back by his lack of strength last year, the Cowboys said. Pope said that area has improved.

“He knows, when you’re 6-foot-7, there’s giong to be some areas of your body that need more development, and most of the time, that’s your legs,” Pope said. “And that was his background, being more of an athletic tight end, a space player. So he’s worked hard this winter. I’ve been impressed by his work habits.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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