Cowboys future focus: TE John Phillips
By Calvin Watkins
Position: Tight end
Height: 6-5. Weight: 265
How acquired: 2009 sixth-round pick
What he did in 2010: Not much. Phillips suffered a torn ACL to his right knee in the first preseason game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals and missed the season. But it was what Phillips did in the 2009 regular season that continued into the 2010 training camp that gave the Cowboys hope about his future. Phillips has good size, hands and is physical enough that the Cowboys were confident to use him in some two-and-three tight end sets. He was challenging Martellus Bennett for playing time, which is something coach Jason Garrett wants, and that’s competition.
What to look for in 2011: This is the second time Phillips has torn his ACL. He torn the left one in high school but was able to comeback for baseball season. This comeback will be a little longer, but the training staff felt Phillips was on target to return in time for training camp. When he’ll start practicing is uncertain due to the labor situation. When he does return, the Cowboys have confidence he will compete for the No. 2 tight end spot behind Jason Witten.
Quotable: “I’m coming back, it’s just a process. I felt I was going to have a good season but I got hurt. I’ve learned a lot this year just by watching, it’s frustrating at times, but you can learn a lot about the game.” – John Phillips
Bryan Broaddus’ Scout’s Eye: “The most impressive thing about him is [in 2009] once he became involved in the offensive scheme they were using him in a lot of different ways. He was like a stuntman, he had so many different roles. He played the H, he was the fullback, played him as the inline tight end, so many different ways the Cowboys were using him. As the season wore on, he just had so many good roles and was so productive and it opened up the offense in a lot of different ways. He did all the jobs nobody wanted to do, or were really good at. Once he got hurt in training camp, that really affected the Cowboys in what they wanted to do on offense. Some of the stuff in the run game, passing game and in protection he was very productive at it. He was coming along in training camp and he was pushing Bennett as the second-team tight end behind Witten. It was a big loss for him not being in there.”