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Antonio Gibson Could be Another Versatile Weapon for the Dallas Cowboys

Antonio Gibson’s versatility would fit in nicely with the Dallas Cowboys.

When it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys can use more depth at just about every position. That’s why today I wanted to shine the light on a player who can play a variety of roles and add more depth at several positions.

Enter Antonio Gibson.

Like Tony Pollard before him, Antonio Gibson was used in a variety of ways during his time at Memphis. He was split out wide as receiver, took handouts out of the backfield, and was used in the return game as well. That kind of versatility is something the Dallas Cowboys could use more of on their roster.

Unfortunately, Gibson is basically a one-year wonder. He was primarily used as a depth piece until this past season, but once he received the opportunity he proved he can be a dynamic playmaker anytime he touches the ball.

In his final season he was listed as a wide receiver and collected 38 catches for 735 yards, averaging 19.3 yards per catch, and scored eight touchdowns. He also accumulated 33 carries for 369 rushing yards, an average of 11.2 yards per carry, and four touchdowns.That’s not even mentioning he averaged 28 yards per kick return in his breakout season.

I don’t know about you, but that kind of versatility and explosiveness is definitely something the Dallas Cowboys could use more of. But don’t take my word for it, let’s take a closer look at exactly what Antonio Gibson brings to the table.


2020 NFL Combine Weigh-in & Results

Measurements – HT: 6’0″ | WT: 228 | Arms: 31 1/8″ | Hands: 8 5/8″

Combine Results – 40 yrd dash: 4.39 | BP: 16 | VJ: 35″ | BJ: 118″


Gibson going Beast Mode:

Many draft analysts believe Antonio Gibson’s best position in the NFL is as a running back. He certainly looks the part and is built more like a running back then wide receiver, but I don’t think there is any way of knowing for sure if he’s a better RB than WR right now. Having said that though, he did put together quite a few flash plays toting the rock last year at Memphis like in the play below.

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In the clip above you see Antonio Gibson doing his best Marshawn Lynch “Beast Mode” impression. In this one play you see all of reasons why many of the draft analysts believe he will be a better RB in the NFL than a WR. You can clearly see his strength, power, agility, vision, and breakaway speed as he leaves the SMU defenders in the dust on his way to the end zone. The only question is, can he do it on a full-time basis in the NFL?

Gibson’s Pass Catching Ability:

Now that you’ve seen a glimpse of the type of RB Antonio Gibson could be at the next level, let’s take a look at what he can do as a receiver. I could be wrong, but I think many people are underrating his ability to catch the ball.

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I understand the swing pass is pretty much just an extension of the running game, but what Antonio Gibson is able to do in the play above is pretty impressive if I do say so myself.

By all accounts, this is a play that should’ve been stopped at the line of scrimmage. The QB didn’t throw the most accurate of passes, which stopped Gibson from carrying his momentum through the reception. Instead he had to adjust to the low pass, thus allowing defenders time to gain an extra split second or two to make a play on the ball.

To Gibson’s credit though, he once again showed how dangerous he can be with the ball in his hands. He showed his power when breaking tackles, his elusiveness to dodge defenders, and his willingness to fight for extra yardage. This is a play many players, RBs and WRs alike, would’ve given up on.

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The clip above is one of my favorite receptions I observed from Antonio Gibson in the passing game. He has more flashy plays as a receiver, but this one stood out to me the most because of how he was able to set up the defender. His ability to sell a route doesn’t get the kind of recognition it deserves in my opinion

Lined up in the slot you see Gibson explode off the line of scrimmage with his pads down over his knees, immediately selling a deep route to the defender. The way he does it perfectly sets up the curl route. It’s hard to notice at full speed, but Gibson subtly releases to the inside just a little as if he’s going to run up the seem but then turns his head/body the opposite direction as if he’s running a corner route. This causes the CB to open up and that’s when Gibson breaks off his route for the curl.

To me, this play proves he’s worked on his route running and has a good understanding of how to set up defenders with even the most subtle moves. With a little more refinement, I think he could develop into a really good wide receiver for whatever team he ends up playing for in the NFL.

Gibson’s Special Teams Ability:

By now you know what Antonio Gibson can do with the ball in his hands as a RB or WR, but let me show you what he can do as a return man on special teams…

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As a kick returner, Antonio Gibson’s speed, vision, balance, and power make him a dangerous weapon in the return game. Special teams over the years seem to be overlooked under the previous Jason Garrett coaching regime, but that will no longer be the case with John Fassel running the show. He is considered to be one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL for a reason and would probably love to have a return man like Gibson at his disposal.

Do you think Antonio Gibson would be a good fit with the Dallas Cowboys?

What do you think?

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Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

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.

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  1. I agreed with you on this choice a while back in one of your mock drafts. How could you go wrong with not 1 but 2 versatile players that can play in the backfield with zeke or move out to the slot. Or even put them in motion outta the backfield pre snap.
    I really like the pick but how soon do you pull the trigger on him? I don’t know if I would want to grab him any earlier than the 4th if he’d be there that late

    • I don’t think the Dallas Cowboys would consider drafting him until the 4th and that’s about where I see him going. He could slide a little later since no one really knows what his true position is and he’s basically just a one-year wonder, but that’s nothing more than speculation on my part.

  2. You guys are marking Antonio Gibson as going no earlier than the 4th round, but I’m afraid others are noticing the same talents you guys are noticing out of him, hence I don’t believe he will last past the 2nd round. If so, should the Cowboys use their 2nd round pick on Antonio Gibson?

    • I don’t think the Cowboys would draft him in the 2nd-round. I have Antonio Gibson right outside my top 100 ranked players, so basically a late 3rd, early 4th-round pick. I think he could realistically be there for the Cowboys at 123 because he’s basically just a one-year wonder without a defined position right now.

  3. He has Emmit Smith like running abilities, and once in the open field, not many would catch him, and if they do, they want bring him down.

  4. Think would be an intriguing pick in 4th. What if we made TP our slot and he split time there w/ Jarwin while still getting 2-3 series to spell Zeek and use AG for short yardage and he and TP could share return duties while he backs tony in slot as well. Could make for good injury insurance for Zeek and Tony. Would truly run same offense if either went down while maintaining whatever new role staff may have envisioned for TP.

    • The great thing about adding Antonio Gibson is the flexibility the Cowboys could have to use him and Tony Pollard all over the formation. Each can play RB or be split out wide as WRs while providing much-needed insurance at both positions.

  5. I’ll be honest. The reporter mentions “he was a one year wonder” and used primarily for depth before this past season. Can those guys be good players? Sure, but I would rather hitch my wagon to a guy who has a bigger resume by being a consistent player over multiple seasons. I think I remember a time when the Cowboys traded for a QB who had only played one season. And, this trade is for the player they hoped would be their QB1. At that time, I was thinking there is no way I’m trading for a baseball player that has like right games of starting experience. If you were around that year, you know how the story ends. This player we are talking about has had one really great year. I don’t think I would be taking him at any point. This team needs defense help and an offensive lineman. You already have too many dollars invested in the RB position. Over $90,000,000 of them. jmho.

    • I can slap the “one-year wonder” tag on a lot of players projected to be drafted in the first-round this year. And yes, the Dallas Cowboys do need defensive help but that shouldn’t exclude them from updating and adding more depth to the offensive side of the ball as well. This one player can add depth at RB, WR, and on special teams.

      • I agree with your slapping the one year wonder on several projected 1st rounders and I would be very hesitant to take a player in the first round based off of one year’s worth of production. in fact, I wouldn’t. But, there are always teams that do. JJ is on record as saying he likes to take chances and swing for the fence on second rounders. Not my preference either. I would take a guy who has a great chance of being a solid contributor over a swing for the fence guy. Hey, it’s their team and they can do whatever they want. Part of why they get to pick where they do each year. So, it’s back to their supposed philosophy of taking “the best player available” on their board. If their best player available is this player, then they should take him. Fine with me if they have $90,000,000+++ allocated to running backs who also get to play on special teams. They need help all over, even at kicker. Sure, Forbath hit all 10 field goals but he also kicked the ball out of bounds twice on kick offs. They just paid Zerlien a couple million and he didn’t have the best year. Injury? Declining? Maybe investing a pick on a guy that’s going to put 150 points a year on the board might be more intriguing than another running back who might also get the chance to return kick offs. I left out the pass catching because that’s pretty much expected of most running backs in today’s game even though it’s not every backs strong suit.

  6. If measurements and stats are correct, then this Cat will be late 1st to mid 2nd round pick. At 6′ and 228lbs with 4.39 speed; he can run past or through most defenses with average blocking. If Dallas has solid if not spectacular O-Line, its conceivable he could join Zeke in the 1,000+ Yard Club.
    Pollard becomes primary #3/Slot WR and 3rd Down Specialist. Tony would flourish in full time role and PR.

    Gibson can take 10/12 runs, line up in WR 4 or 5 slot 4 to 5 times, play HBack some and throw to him out of backfield 3 or 4 times.

    Jarwin can also rotate and become redzone mainstay.

    Even at 30+ mil per yr, I would let Dak do 3 or 4 designed carry plays when 2 TE sets (Bell and Jarwin) and Gipson as 3rd blocker.

    Grey skies are gonna clear up….

    • I really like Antonio Gibson, but I don’t think he will be drafted in the first or second round. I do however love the idea of adding him to the mix with all the other weapons the Dallas Cowboys have on offense. Like you mentioned, there are just so many different ways they could deploy Gibson with their other playmakers.

  7. I wish there was some way the Cowboys front office could read this article ; it is a great insight on a draft pick. Notwithstanding, from a person who has followed the Mephis Tiger’s football program for only three years, this pick would be a game changer. He definitely has the potential to be a “Tyreek Hill” player with Dak, Zeke, Gallup, Jarwin, and Pollard in there prime. Just imagine a revamped line and a supporting defense. I will like to add we must have competent corrdinators on both sides of the ball.

    • Thanks Mike! I’m sure the Dallas Cowboys are well aware of Antonio Gibson, especially after just drafting Tony Pollard out of Memphis last year. They may feel they already have that kind of player in Pollard and may choose to draft someone with a different kind of skill set instead. But it is fun to think about adding Gibson’s versatility with the playmakers the Cowboys already have at their disposal.

  8. We have to make a “Big” splash with our draft picks this year. It would be foolish to draft as though the Cowboys have Garrett as the coach in charge. Honestly, if this draft pick is aborted the Cowboys need to implement more of Devin Smith into the offense. He was the only offensive player other than Jarwin and Pollard to make a strong canidate option when it came to depth. Thanks for your responses, please keep me updated!!!

    • I don’t think the Dallas Cowboys need to make a big splash with their draft picks. They just need to draft wisely.

      I don’t get the love for Devin Smith honestly. He made a few plays last year, mostly in preseason, but hasn’t done much in his entire NFL career. I think he’s going to have a really tough time to make the roster.

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