Connect with us

Player News

Gathers Eligible to Resume Practice

Sean Martin

Published

on


The Cowboys' potent offense has been far from the problem during their 2-3 start to this season, as another potential target for QB Dak Prescott is making progress towards getting back on the field. TE Rico Gathers, placed on IR to start the season after suffering a serious concussion in practice, is now eligible to return to the practice field.

Gathers may very well still have a long way to go in contributing this season at TE, where his second year in transitioning from NCAA basketball to NFL football got off to a flying start in the preseason.

There was legitimate hope that - even with their general lack of creativity on offense - the Cowboys and Scott Linehan would be able to get return on their investment in Gathers in the passing game this season.

He will first be eligible to play in week nine, when the Dallas Cowboys host the Kansas City Chiefs - with Tony Romo on the call of his first Dallas game.

Jess Haynie on Twitter

TE Rico Gathers is eligible to return to practice this week. Can't play until Week 9, but can start getting ready. #CowboysNation

The Cowboys are currently second in the league at converting red zone trips to touchdown, and with the depth chart at TE fully set ahead of Gathers, this seems like the one area he could make any immediate impact in 2017.

Jason Witten, James Hanna, and Geoff Swaim are all valued by the Cowboys for their complete skills as receivers and blockers in the all-important ground game.

For a Cowboys offense that needs to do everything they can to protect a defense going through some serious growing pains right now, adding a 6'8" pass catcher to the mix only makes sense.

Gathers has made a significant commitment to his new craft at TE, and the Cowboys have rewarded their 2015 sixth round pick to date. Being injured by a teammate was a major setback for Rico and the team, as even getting him back to working at The Star should lift spirits around the Cowboys.

Tell us what you think about "Gathers Eligible to Resume Practice" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Advertisement
6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Russ_Te

    October 18, 2017 at 9:42 am

    You have to use Gather’s size & athleticism as a new wrinkle that defenses will not be prepared for, as you also ease him into the NFL game.

    So I would like about 12-15 reps, and at least 3 targets. It will remain to play out, but I think the biggest issue is run blocking and help on certain pass rushers. You have to figure Gathers is a project in that aspect of the game. Meanwhile I’m looking for a few good strikes that defenders can’t cover.

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      October 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      With the way this team may need to score points, field goals down deep won’t cut it. A few shots to an impossible to cover TE works for me. Appreciate you always reading and responding, Russ.

  2. Travis Diggs

    October 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Its up to scott linehan at the end of the day. He is a inconsistent coordinator with his execution. His scheme and personnel is questionable at times. Rico could give this offense the mix matches they need but its ultimately up to the coaching staff

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      October 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Travis, thanks as always for your thoughts. With the way this coaching staff values continuity, it is difficult to expect Gathers to do a whole lot this season. At the end of the day, this is still a dominant offense that should be able to exploit any defense with their balance and skill. Its up to the defense to allow them to show that consistently.

      • Travis Diggs

        October 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        Any defense Sean??? Denver this year and Minesota last year gave the blueprint to beat this “dominant offense” All im saying is maybe a little more creativity. Defenses like most fans sitting home watching can predict where the ball is going most of the time. Using Rico and maybe some Switzer would add a another element to this offense to keep Defenses guessing

  3. Mr. Jaguar

    October 20, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Sean we need all the help we can receive to hopefully turn this season around.Rico absolutely can help expand the Offense take some of the pressure off of Dez T Will and Beasley, especially the Bease. It time for Scott Linehan to dig deep in the Cowboys library and dust off some of Coach Landry’s playbook, if necessary, some new looks and formations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Player News

Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



Continue Reading

Player News

DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



Continue Reading

Player News

When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

Published

on

All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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

Trending