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.
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.