Cowboys free agents: John Phillips

February, 4, 2013
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Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesJohn Phillips finished with eight catches for 55 yards and one touchdown and will be coming off shoulder surgery.

John Phillips

Position: Tight end

Type: Unrestricted

Summary: The backup tight end finished with eight catches for 55 yards and one touchdown. It was the second-fewest receptions in Phillips' four-year career. It was clear the Cowboys missed a good blocking tight end after they let Martellus Bennett go in free agency. Phillips was inconsistent in this area. It seems he has never been the same player after tearing his ACL in 2010. Phillips underwent shoulder surgery recently and he should be in good shape for training camp.

Why keep him: Phillips is a smart player who runs good routes but gets lost behind the excellent play of Jason Witten. Phillips can make some plays when called upon.

Why let him go: James Hanna emerged as a good player and finished with more receiving yards (86 to 55) than Phillips.

Best guess: Cowboys let him test the market and move Hanna into the No. 2 role behind Witten.

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Calvin Watkins covers the Houston Rockets and the NBA for He joined in September 2009. He's covered the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers as well as colleges, boxing and high school sports.



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