Connect with us

Star Blog

If Activated, Where Would Rico Gathers Fit Offensively?

Brian Martin



If Activated, Where Does Rico Gathers Fit Offensively?

The Dallas Cowboys and their fans have already seen a seasons worth of disappointment through their first five games of the 2017 season. There seems to be a cloud of negativity surrounding this year's squad, so any good news is  definitely a welcomed addition. That is why all of Cowboys Nation might be excited to learn that tight end Rico Gathers is eligible to return to practice.

According to NFL rules, teams are able to designate two different players they have placed on injured reserve and bring them back during the season. Rico Gathers is a prime candidate to be one of these players for the Cowboys and is eligible to start practicing with the team after missing six weeks of the season. But, he cannot be added to the active roster until after Week 8 is completed.

With the NFL season entering Week 7, Gathers can now get back on the practice field with the Cowboys. In fact, he did just that Wednesday, although in a limited fashion.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Rico Gathers has returned to working with Cowboys athletic trainers

This is certainly a step in the right direction for Rico Gathers, and quite possibly the Dallas Cowboys as well. Gathers now has two more weeks to get back into football shape and prove to the coaching staff he is worth adding to the active roster.

The Cowboys offense hasn't been terrible by any means, but they could definitely use more production from the tight end position. Future Hall of Famer Jason Witten leads the team in receptions with 27, but is only averaging a measly 8.5 yards per reception. James Hanna and Geoff Swaim have just one reception between the two of them, although it did result in Hanna standing alone in the end zone.

Rico Gathers could possibly add a much needed spark to the tight end position if activated. He looked really impressive during the Cowboys first two preseason games, catching seven passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, his preseason was cut short due to the previous mentioned concussion.

Rico Gathers, Rams

TE Rico Gathers

Now, as much as I would like to see Gathers added to the active roster, I just don't know where he would fit in the offensive game plan. All three TEs ahead of him on the depth chart are more reliable/prepared at this point in their careers, but none of them have his playmaking ability.

Would the Cowboys be willing to keep four tight ends on the active roster and how many would they have available on game days? Who would be the odd man out? These are questions the Cowboys coaching staff will have to answer before making such a big decision.

Roster spots become more and more valuable as the season progresses. Carrying four TEs on the roster may be a luxury they can't afford. But, if they believe Rico Gathers can be another offensive weapon and perhaps a difference maker, it's an easy decision.

Gathers is after all 6'8" and a mismatch for any defensive back to cover anywhere on the field, especially in the red zone. He still needs work with his blocking, but adding yet another weapon in the passing game for Dak Prescott could help the entire offense be even more dangerous.

I'm personally torn on whether or not Rico Gathers should be added to the active roster. Thankfully, I'm not the one that has to make the decision.

What kind of offensive role do you think Rico Gathers can have with the Dallas Cowboys? Let me hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below or hit me up on Twitter @BrianMartinNFL.

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Fatfan

    easy decision for me…activate AND utilize Gathers. Who wouldn’t want his playmaking ability on the field.

    • Brian Martin

      I just wonder if OC Scott Linehan can find a way to work him into the game plan. He hasn’t been all that creative already this season. Plus, the Cowboys might need to add more depth to the defensive side of the ball. It’s a really a tosssup for me.

  • Travis Diggs

    At this point you have to get him in there. What do you have to lose?? While this offense is potent at times, they are pretty predictable in most situations. Every fan at home knows where the ball is going which hurts to watch some games knowing the defense sees it too. Dez only runs three routes, t will is average, and witten’s routes are limited. We still have some good Defenses on the schedule(PHI twice, KC, SEA, NY) We have to get as creative as possible because this offense has to carry this team to a playoff run.

    • Brian Martin

      Travis, the only problem with what you said is the bottom denominator… Scott Linehan. I’m not sure if he’s capable of finding ways of getting creative with Gathers. He’s already predictable enough with the pieces he has and I’m not sure that would change unfortunately. I can honestly come up with convincing arguments for why to activate Gathers and why not to. I think they probably will because he is such a matchup problem, but I’m not sure how involved he will end up being.

  • EverybodyTalks

    Wondering if Zeke going on suspension, be the slot that becomes available for Rico Gathers to be activated. Or simply, Zeke gets his Brady extension and one of the veteran RBs gets cut. “Come on down, Rico!” When you look at who has been cut so far this season, it has mostly been on the defensive side. Maybe it is time for the offense to chop somebody and send them on their way. I could also see Rico go for three weeks and then go back on IR for the rest of the year.

    • Brian Martin

      The Dallas Cowboys currently have four TEs on the roster after calling up Blake Jarwin from the PS. I kind of doubt Rico Gathers is activated this year. I think the only way that happens is if there was an injury to the position. I don’t think Zeke’s suspension situation has anything to do with it.

      I’m not sure what they will do with the vet RBs. Likely just keep them for insurance unless they need to add some more depth at another position because of injuries a little later in the season.

      Also, the reason we see more moves being made on the defensive side of the ball is because it is much more unsettled compared to the offense.

Star Blog

Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady



Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.

Continue Reading

Star Blog

Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

Continue Reading

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez



Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

Continue Reading

Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here