A Delightful Cowboys Sight: Rico Gathers Engaging In The Grind

Mike Fisher
May 23, 2018 - 5:05 pm
Rico Gathers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - It was a delightful sight: Rico Gathers wasn't doing anything spectacular on the field, he wasn't performing a rap song, he wasn't issuing a pithy quote -- all of which he's fully capable of.

He was simply lined up in a special-teams coverage drill, taking his turn in a mundane practice, involving himself in the grind of being a potential NFL roster member with the task of rolling a boulder up a hill.

Of course, then the Baylor basketball star-turned-2016 Cowboys draftee as a tight end met the media in The Star locker room.

"I could just tell by the drift of the season and the drift of the coaching staff that I probably wasn’t going to play this last year, anyway," he said of his 2017 season, when a concussion sidelined him for, seemingly, forever.

Gathers said he was cleared medically to come back at midseason (something maybe the Cowboys brass would prefer he keep a lid on) and Gathers said he could've really helped the offense last season.

"In some games,'' he said, "I felt like we needed a scoring punch and I felt like that was what I brought to the table.''

(Yes, the Cowboys brass would prefer he keep a lid on that sort of talk, too.)

Gathers, a gigantic man who at .... is certainly physically capable of playing tight end in the NFL, is also a bright-enough fella -- bright enough to take some of the spice out of his comments by adding, "Playing for the Cowboys is bigger than being able to score touchdowns. You have to block and everything else."

Well, yeah. And of course, that's not just the Cowboys. That's every NFL team's tight end demands. Every college and high school teams', too.

But before being a sixth-round pick, Gathers hadn't played football since middle school. So maybe he doesn't really understand that in 2017, in order to leapfrog over Jason Witten, James Hanna, Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin to score all those touchdowns, he'd have to be not only healthy enough but also trustworthy enough to get a jersey.

That hasn't happened yet in his career. And now, while Witten and Hanna have retired, fourth-round rookie Dalton Schultz is added to the competition.

"The biggest thing for me,'' Rico said, "is just making it to the regular season. I have to make sure I'm healthy and make sure I'm able to be on somebody's 53-man roster.''

It'd be nice if that "somebody'' was the Cowboys. Delusions of grandeur, though, will help less than learning how to cover punts on special teams.