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It’s Do Or Die Time For TE Rico Gathers

' journey to the NFL was fascinating, but his story once that destination was reached has been far from it.

In fact, Rico Gathers' NFL career has been inconsequential at best and a failure at worst. Only playing in 15 games over his first 3 seasons, Gathers' time with the Cowboys has failed to live up to fan-driven hopes and dreams. A converted college basketball player, too much hype was placed on Gathers' shoulders before he even took a snap for the Cowboys.

His performance in the 2017 Game then took this hype to a whole new level, as he caught 3 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opening win. Gathers was heralded as a threat, a potential down the field game breaker for the Cowboys , and the big-bodied athletic teams are chasing around the league.

Instead Gathers' three seasons have resulted in a bunch of nothing for the Cowboys, and with returning, Gathers now faces a do-or-die situation this Summer. Gathers spoke to's Nick Eatman about his approach heading into this consequential , speaking in a much more focused tone than we've heard from him in the past.

“I’m just trying to make some big leaps and take advantage of every opportunity they throw my way and just show my progression…Just the picking up on everything is second nature now” – Rico Gathers

Gathers clearly recognizes the task he has at hand. Both and were above him on the a year ago, and each showed flashes towards the end of the season which give hope around their potential. Plus, has become somewhat of a “light end” for the Cowboys offense (shoutout staff writer John Williams). Opportunities for Gathers have been few and far between, and his lack of contribution on puts him at an even greater disadvantage.

The are not in Rico Gathers' favor whatsoever, but he could change that in theory. Maybe another has helped re-focus him, and allowed him to take strides towards being a better overall tight end.

The natural gifts appear to be there with Gathers after-all, as is seen by his athleticism on Baylor's basketball court. But just because you were a college basketball player doesn't mean you can be an NFL tight end. The and Jimmy Grahams of the world are the exceptions, not the rule.

It's going to be a long-shot for Rico Gathers to make himself a Dallas Cowboy in 2019, but if he is going to do so, he's going to have to perform in ways we have yet to see from him over the last three seasons.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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Tony Farthing

I think his lack of success weighs more heavily on coaching than player.

Tony Farthing

If DAL cuts him… or find more value in highlighting “how hard it is for him to make adjustment”… what was the point?

We all have seen how “good” he can be. Anyone who have played the sport… understand, he was showing skills/attributes that can’t be coached… and was immediately effective.

Therefore, if DAL haven’t figured out how to utilize him more, for his strengths… it’s a fool’s game they are playing.

He could have been used much more than he has. I think, DAL is willing to watch him fail. He should’ve signed with another team if that is the case.

Hope he finds his groove elsewhere.

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