Could OT, Not TE Be Rico Gathers' Best Position In Dallas? ⋆
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Could OT, Not TE Be Rico Gathers’ Best Position In Dallas?

Could Offensive Tackle Be Rico Gathers Best Position With Dallas?

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Could OT, Not TE Be Rico Gathers’ Best Position In Dallas?

Could OT, Not TE Be Rico Gathers’ Best Position In Dallas?

When it comes to Rico Gathers and his NFL career, there is still a lot of unknown about the Dallas Cowboys second-year tight end. Still, that doesn’t stop Cowboys’ fans from hoping he is the heir apparent to future Hall of Famer Jason Witten. But, I’m not even sure if tight end is Gathers’ best position. I think it could possibly be offensive tackle and I’ll tell you why.

We all know that Rico Gathers is a tremendous athlete. I’ve actually been a fan of his for quite a while. I followed his collegiate basketball career at Baylor and was actually really excited when the Cowboys decided to draft him in the sixth round a year ago.

At first, I thought he would make a really good tight end in time, but that all depended on how quickly he could advance in his development. He has really rare size and athletic ability for man his size, but that doesn’t necessarily always translate to the field.

Word is Gathers has taken the next step in his development and has been impressive in the off-season practices so far. But, I’m still not quite sure if he will ever get to the stage where he can be a reliable tight end. For me, that mostly has to do with how much the Dallas Cowboys ask their tight ends to do and the obstacles he still has to overcome.

Personally, I think there are two things that are holding him back so far. The first one is the mental aspect of the game. Rico Gathers not only has to know his blocking assignments and blitz pickups, but he also has to be able to read defensive coverages to know which routes to run. And that is the second thing I think holding him back, his route running.

Rico Gathers has never really had to run routes in the passing game in his entire life before joining the Dallas Cowboys. It’s not something that’s going to come to him overnight, but it is something that I think could keep him off the field as a tight end.

Due to his size, Gathers is going to struggle getting in and out of his breaks when running pass routes. He just looks stiff running, but the coaching staff is working with him to try to and loosen him up. That could really limit his effectiveness and possibly keep him from becoming a starter. But, that’s not necessarily bad news the way I see it.

Rico GathersThe Dallas Cowboys have Rico Gathers listed at  6’6″, 290. That’s nearly 2 inches taller and nearly 40 pounds heavier than the average tight end in the NFL. But, if he packs on about 10 to 15 pounds, he would he would almost exactly the same size as the Dallas Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.

Tyron Smith is an athletic freak in his own right and has become one of the best left tackles in the NFL. I honestly see a lot of the same traits in Rico Gathers as I do Tyron Smith. I personallly believe Gathers would make a much quicker transition to tackle, and actually thrive there.

You see, Gathers’ background in basketball would actually work in his favor as a tackle. He already has a really good foundation in place by knowing how to mirror defenders and shuffle his feet while doing so. He also has the physicality that will help him as a blocker as well. And that’s not even mentioning how much his athletic ability will help him on the outside in space.

I’m not saying the Dallas Cowboys will switch Rico Gathers to tackle anytime soon, but it’s not a bad fallback option. The mental aspect of the game really isn’t as difficult as tight end, and like I said earlier, I think he already has the foundation in place. That is why I believe his best position in the NFL might be offensive tackle, not tight end.

Do you think Rico Gathers would make a good offensive tackle?

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.

9 Comments
  • https://www.facebook.com/brooklynphenix BrooklynPhenix Rising

    Without reading the article my thought was the only position would be Tackle. I didn’t know he was 290 pounds, so yes that transition would work, it worked for Rayfield Wright didn’t he come out of college a TE? Anyway the name of the game is do whatever to get on the field. So if he did switch or they asked him to move it wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m not sure about Rayfield Wright. That’s something I’m going to have to look up. I know Lane Johnson of the Philadelphiaa Eagles made that transition and he’s doing well for himself. I don’t see any reason why Gathers wouldn’t be able to do it.

      • John Williams

        Lane Johnson though played offensive line in college for OU before being drafted.

        • Brian Martin

          That’s true, but he was recruited as a TE.

          • John Williams

            That’s a good point.

  • John Williams

    He certainly has the size to do it. That being said, I still am intrigued by his ability as a tight end.

    Maybe for 2017, the coaches should strictly game plan him to be an inline blocker to help him get more comfortable with that in the early going. Then as the season progresses begin adding more routes to the gameplan for him.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m still intrigued by Gathers as well, but I think his skill set better suits that of an OT. I think the only way he gets on the field in 2017 is if the coaching staff has some kind of specific package for him on offense. He’s just not ready to be thrown into the fire yet.

      • John Williams

        I agree. He’s one of just several intriguing story lines heading into training camp.

  • ThePsychodad69

    Can we give him a few games before deciding he can’t do it. The kid was a low post player that could dribble and rebound. The reounding gives him good hands, the hardest part for him is getting open in football where as basketball all he had to do was get position and rebound which he did pretty well, so eyehand coordination is there. Besides pretty sure he can run 7yds and high point a few 1st downs or stand under the goalpost and wait for the alleyoop for a dunk right now. He’s a matchup nightmare within 15yds he runs pretty good, maybe not a great route runner but like #82 he can box out and grab a pass, with his athleticism even on dump offs he’s a career decision to tackle.

    Wright played in a age of TEs being a 6th lineman, very few TEs played beyond the line of scrimmage or caught the ball beyond the occasional designed play.

    Either way he should make the 53 if HannaSwaim miss time or they go lite on the line.
    Hell would love to see WittenGaethersSkipper in a 3TE set near the goal line with Dak, Zeke and Dez. Put Skipper in the backfield behind Zeke as a blocker, then shift into a stack, who follows Skipper is the tell and then let Zeke smash the weakside.

    Pass the Xanax, this team is going to keep DCs up all nite and ruin careers for some.

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