With Dallas finally ridding themselves of the uber-disappointment that was former second-round selection Martellus Bennett, an opening was created on the tight end depth chart. John Phillips, hopefully fully recovered from a 2010 preseason ACL injury, slides into the number two position. However, Dallas entered the 2012 draft without anyone to finish off the depth chart or take up room on the practice squad.
The club selected Oklahoma Sooner James Hanna in the sixth round of the amateur draft and he will have every opportunity to fill that third spot on the 53 man roster; if Dallas chooses. That leaves George Bryan battling with Penn State free agent Andrew Szczerba for a place on the practice squad or a miracle training camp story of a spot on the big roster. As we all know, Dallas doesn't marry itself to it's late round picks so there are no guarantees with Hanna making the squad at all.
Szczerba missed the entire 2010 campaign with a back injury and had a career of other physical setbacks that curtailed his career. He missed time early in 2011 with concussion like symptoms. Also early in the season he suffered a family tragedy as his uncle, a Delaware police officer, was stabbed to death while on duty. He didn't miss a game, suiting up and saying his uncle was one of his biggest fans and wouldn't want him not to play.
Standing at an imposing 6'6" and weighing over 260 lbs, Szczerba certainly looks the part of potential roster player. Of course, looks ain't everything.
For his Pro Day, he ran a 5.12 40-yard dash with a 1.81 10-yard split. He is more of a blocking tight end, which could help him find a niche in a Dallas offense where the top two guys are expected to be put in pass patterns on a regular basis. NFLDraftScout rated him the 31st best TE prospect available in the draft. Playing nine games in '11, he only totaled 12 catches and only averaged 8.4 yards per reception. Still, Dallas obviously likes something that the kid provides and his inline blocking could be an asset that the team values.