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

Brian Martin

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Could Offensive Tackle Be Rico Gathers Best Position With 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?

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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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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.

Star Blog

Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott's Future?

It’s funny how quickly some players are able to establish themselves as professional athletes and grow their fan base. That is exactly what Ezekiel Elliott has done in just a little over a years time since becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, given his current situation, it’s that fan base that might be starting to turn on him a little and doubt his long-term future in the NFL.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are fully aware of the six-game suspension the NFL slapped Ezekiel Elliott with based on nothing more than accusations of possible domestic violence. Right or wrong, guilty or innocent, it happened and there is no taking it back. But unfortunately, because of the suspension Elliott will now have to walk the straight and narrow if he wants to have any kind of career in the NFL.

I honestly don’t think Ezekiel Elliott is a bad guy, but the slightest slip up will more than likely put his career in jeopardy. It doesn’t matter how big or small the infraction, the NFL has already decided they are going to make an example of him.

RB Ezekiel ElliottFrom here on out, Elliott is going to have to live like he is under a magnifying glass. Any kind of slip up, big or small, will likely cause the league to suspend him an entire season. This unfortunately has been weighing on the minds of a lot of Cowboys Nation and has to be at least a little bit concerning for the Cowboys organization.

You see, the Dallas Cowboys have Elliott under contract for at least three more years after this season. He has already proven how important he is to the offense and how much production dips without him in the lineup. They absolutely want him on the field because he makes them better. But, any kind of slip up would pretty much erase one of those three years. Look no further than what has happened with Randy Gregory.

I’ve heard many fans voicing their concerns about Ezekiel Elliott’s long-term availability with the Cowboys. They are afraid Elliott’s immaturity will end up getting the best of him and Zeke unfortunately has done nothing to ease those concerns so far.

I for one am not all that concerned about Zeke’s future in the NFL. I think his six-game suspension has served as an eye-opening experience and that he will do better from here on out to put himself in better situations and surround himself with better/more trustworthy people.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel ElliottYou can see anytime Zeke is on the field his passion for the game and how much he enjoys it. I don’t think he’s going to put something he cares so much about in jeopardy. But unfortunately, he already has a bull’s-eye on his back and can’t afford to take a misstep. That will without a doubt put his future career in jeopardy.

I personally can’t wait to see how #21 responds when he is able to suit up once again next week against the Seattle Seahawks. I think he is going to play with a chip on his shoulder and run angry. That is the best way he can stick it to the league for suspending him based on accusations and another reason why I’m not concerned about his future in the NFL.

I know if it was me, my mindset would be to turn myself into the best player possible and once again become one of the more popular athletes in the league. That is about the only way he can say “F U” to the league, and I think that’s exactly what he will do.

Are you concerned about Ezekiel Elliott long-term?

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Star Blog

A Cowboys Win vs Giants Can’t Be Taken For Granted

Mauricio Rodriguez

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A Cowboys Win vs Giants Can't Be Taken For Granted 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming from a bounce-back win versus the Washington Redskins in which they blew out their divisional rivals 38-14. The New York Giants are coming from a week in which Head Coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese were fired. The former is 6-6, and the latter is 2-10. You tell me which organization is getting the W this Sunday.

Easy, right? Well, no. Not really.

All week long, most of Cowboys Nation has been taking this win for granted. Understandably so, since New York is only a two-win team. However, this is certainly one of those games with a “trap game” feel to it.

It wouldn’t be the first time we see a football team being led by a new coach to a surprise victory. Hell, we saw a very similar situation when Jason Garrett debuted as the Cowboys interim head coach in 2010… against the Giants. 

 Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee, New York Giants QB Eli Manning  Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

On top of that, you have Eli Manning back at the wheel after he was benched for Geno Smith a week ago. Even though the guy who made that decision is out of the picture, you have to imagine the veteran quarterback will go out to play with a chip on his shoulder.

And if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, this Cowboys’ team still has a lot to prove. Let’s not forget the fact that they lost three consecutive weeks. That’s why we´re trying to find which NFC teams need to lose certain games. Because the Dallas Cowboys put themselves in this position.

Dak Prescott is the future for this franchise, and despite having some tough games this year, I still believe he’s the guy. However, as Staff Writer Kevin Brady recently wrote here at Inside The Star, Dak Prescott must overcome his struggles when facing the Giants:

“Prescott played his worst game of that spectacular rookie season when he traveled to East Rutherford, New Jersey as the Cowboys prolific offense was only able to score 7 points during their key loss.”

Although they have a 2-10 record, the Giants’ defense shouldn’t be underestimated. They still have personnel that can give the Cowboys’ offense a bit of trouble, especially without Ezekiel Elliott running the ball.

Sean Lee should be ready to go this week, and while many discuss whether or not the coaching staff should give him an extra week of rest, the truth is that’s something the Cowboys can’t risk to do. At the end of the day, lose one game and forget about playing in January.

You need 50 on the field. If at some point in the second half they manage to get a big-lead, securing a win, then let’s hope they take him off the field and let the guy rest. But until then, Sean Lee should be playing.

Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys Defense?

Dallas Cowboys’ Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Dallas is expected to start three rookies at cornerback. Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Wood could be the guys who line up to start the game in New York. Naturally, this is the case because they’ve proven to be solid players.

But it’s inevitable to be a bit scared of this situation when you’re facing Eli Manning. Say what you want about him, but you never know what might happen when a player like that is on the other side of the field.

I’m picking the Cowboys to win this football games for at least a touchdown. But let’s not think of this game as if it were the Browns. If this ends up being a trap game and the Cowboys manage to get their seventh loss of the year, it’s over.

We’re 14 weeks into the season and it feels like we don’t know what this team is capable of doing with Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott starting at the same time. But this week will prove a lot of things about the Cowboys and their quest for the Playoffs.

Tell me what you think about “A Cowboys Win vs Giants Can’t Be Taken For Granted” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Star Blog

Week 14 Playoff Projection: Cowboys Still In Striking Distance

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys en Español: Dak Prescott #14 Según los Jugadores, ¿Realmente Lo Es? 1

The Cowboys are one of three 6-6 teams still hoping to find a way into the NFC playoffs. Even if they win out and get to 10-6, they will need help based on tiebreakers and the superior records of the teams ahead of them.

Last night, Dallas’ hopes took a kick in the teeth when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the New Orleans Saints. Atlanta not only moved to 8-5 but also holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys, making them a major threat in the Wild Card race. The Falcons need to start losing, fast, for Dallas to have a shot at overtaking them.

Atlanta’s not the only team that Dallas should be concerned about, though. Here are the current NFC playoff standings, including last night’s result:

  1. Minnesota Vikings (10-2)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (10-2)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (9-3)
  4. New Orleans Saints (9-4)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
  6. Carolina Panthers (8-4)
    ————————————–
  7. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
  8. Detroit Lions (6-6)
  9. Green Bay Packers (6-6)
  10. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

TIEBREAKERS

  • The Vikings are ahead of the Eagles thanks to the common game tiebreaker, since they are both 8-1 against NFC opponents.
  • Seattle (6-3) is ahead of Carolina (4-4) thanks to a better record in NFC games.
  • Detroit has a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Packers and a common games tiebreaker over the Cowboys.
  • Green Bay has a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cowboys.

With the Falcons’ win over New Orleans already in the books, here are the other playoff-relevant games for the NFC in Week 14.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

This is the easiest game let on Dallas’ schedule (assuming Philly doesn’t rest starters in Week 17). The Giants will have a new coach and have changed back to Eli Manning as the starting QB. Will they be galvanized by these changes or only in even greater disarray? We certainly hope for the latter.

Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns

At 6-6 and with Aaron Rodgers potentially returning next week, the Packers are looming as a real threat. They have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas from a win earlier this year. The hapless Browns winning this one is certainly faint hope, but it’s still Brett Hundley out there at QB instead of one of the league’s MVPs.

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The other team in the 6-6 tie, Detroit needs to go away. The Bucs are 4-8 and a non-factor now, so we can root for the pirate people without hesitation.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are another key target for us in the Wild Card race. Minnesota should run away with the NFC North, so they’re a non-factor for Dallas’ concerns. A Carolina loss is clearly better for Dallas, dropping the Panthers to 8-5 and within reasonable range with three weeks left to go.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams

Last week, Dallas fans were put in the unfortunate position of having to root for the Eagles against the Seahawks to help our playoff chances. We’re back in that same boat this week as a Rams’s loss would be more damaging for the Cowboys than Philly losing.

Because L.A. has a head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas, our best bet is for them to win the NFC West and stay out of our way. We have a much better shot at catching the Seahawks, especially since we get to play them in Week 16 when Ezekiel Elliott returns.

Seattle Seahawks @ Jacksonville Jaguars

So yeah, as just said, the Seahawks are one of the teams we have the best chance of beating out for a playoff spot. Last week’s win over Philly hurt, but a road loss against the 8-4 Jaguars is certainly possible and would go a long way to helping our cause.

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