Cowboys Snag UVA Tight End

Many coaches will say that the two positions at which a team can't have too many players are linebacker and tight end, because those positions generally are played by versatile athletes who can contribute in numerous ways.

Dallas already has selected three linebackers, and added a sixth-round tight end in John Phillips (6-5 3/8, 251, 4.75) of Virginia.

Phillips is a capable receiver who hauled in 69 receptions during his four seasons in Charlottesville, including 48 as a senior. He also is an able and willing blocker who has the strength to stand up linebackers and defensive ends as they rush the passer.

At UVA, he was used in a multitude of roles: splitting out wide or in the slot, at the end of the line in a customary tight end position or in the backfield as an H-back. Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likes to move his tight ends around, and Phillips has the experience to play from a number of different positions.

Phillips isn't as big as starter Jason Witten or backup Martellus Bennett, but he has an enormous frame, with wide shoulders and long arms, suggesting he could carry more weight as he matures. He runs fairly well, although he sometimes plays a little stiff and can get caught in a fairly upright position. If he can learn to play with his pads a little lower, he'll be harder to contain on pass routes and will be even more effective as a blocker.

The first-team All-ACC selection is one of those guys coaches love: a team captain who comes from a family of athletes and will do whatever is asked of him by his coaches. If he shows he can contribute on special teams, he has a chance to stick as the Cowboys' third tight end.

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