Rico Gathers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Cut Tight End Rico Gathers, Ending Basketball Experiment

Mike Fisher
August 05, 2019 - 6:43 pm

OXNARD (105.3 The Fan) - The Dallas Cowboys are giving up on The Rico Gathers Experiment, the former Baylor basketball player having never quite made the adjustment to football that would allow him to be on the field.

Gathers played in 15 games last year, catching three passes. His athleticism was always eye-opening, but as he entered this, his fourth training camp with the team, he had a pass bounce off his hands for an interception, missed some work with a minor ankle injury and all along had hovering over him a coming Week 1 suspension due to a marijuana arrest a year ago.

Gathers recently claimed on social media that he was a victim of a "predetermined depth chart'' -- an unfortunate take that lessens the fact that returning future Hall-of-Famer Jason Witten is vastly superior to him, that second-stringer Blake Jarwin is better than he is, and that third-stringer Dalton Schultz  has at least become a better blocker.

Gathers did make the leap from the practice squad in 2016-17 to the active roster last year in 2018. And as a sixth-round pick in 2016 who tried to make the transition from being a college basketball star at Baylor to playing the NFL, he was an intriguing story. But early on, the fact that he hadn’t played organized football since junior high hampered him. 

And now? He is free to hook on with a team in need of a tight end -- preferably, we suppose, one without a "predetermined depth chart.''