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Rico Gathers’ Absence in 2018 Wasn’t About Health

A sixth-round pick out of Baylor University, was supposed to be one hell of a football story. A basketball superstar, Gathers hadn't played at all, but the traits he had were enough for the to take a chance on him during the final day of the 2016 to find a potential heir to .

After spending his entire rookie season developing in the , it felt like Gathers would have his chance in 2017. However, after suffering a concussion in the , he never saw the field during the regular season. Despite initially making the , he was quickly placed on .

hoped to see him back after the mandatory eight weeks in IR, but the much-anticipated comeback never took place.

The narrative was that the concussion was more serious than previously thought and that there was also a jaw involved. And through it all, there were some whispers about Gathers' absence being more related than health related.

Last Wednesday, the former Baylor basketball star talked to the media about his situation and brought some very interesting responses to the table.

If his comments are true, it really confirms that the fact that Gathers didn't get any playing time at all last season wasn't only concussion-related. If he was truly ready to go since week 8, then him not being on the field shows how the Cowboys coaching staff isn't sold on the player like the fans are.

Sure, it'd be one hell of a story. And of course, he seemed to make a statement during the preseason. However, it's not like Dallas had very special backup tight ends behind Jason Witten. As much as it hates to admit it, maybe Gathers simply isn't as good as some thought he was.

This was not the only interesting comment from Rico as he also said that the jaw injury never happened, claiming that was something media-related. This obviously brings up an even more interesting question: Was the team lying about Gathers' health to keep him on IR and avoid having to get him on the practice squad and risking him being pouched by another team?

We might never get to know the absolute truth in this case, but it's still worth noting.

Right now, Gathers' fight is all about making it to the regular season.

“Somebody's 53-man roster” is the quote that sticks out from this comment. If Gathers makes it to a roster for the , it just might not be with the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps it's for the best. The team has a chance to give an important role from day 1 and continue with 's and 's development going forward.

Rico Gathers may still be in the picture, for sure, but don't be surprised if he's shown the door before expected. I think every fan out there agrees that having a kid who hadn't played football since he was 13-years old turn into a quality starter in the league would've been remarkable.

But it's time to realize that that doesn't look to be the case.

Right now, Gathers is fighting for a spot on the roster. He's going to have to put up a big fight if he's to prove he's worthy of wearing . Luckily for the Dallas Cowboys, with a deep TE room, they won't be desperately relying on his success to find the new starting of the franchise.

Mauricio Rodriguez
Mauricio Rodriguez
I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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Joe Conti

I mean really no member of the media could realize he was kept on IR in order to attempt to not try and get him to the practice squad

John McClain

He needs to stay quiet and perform. I bleed Cowboys blue but Dallas problems stem from talking so much JJ and players need to keep in house in house

Ernest D. Hollins

What is this team problem with athletic tight ends that can run and be a mismatch in the passing game. If he need football, quote Garrett then let him play. It is almost like they got a problem with Rico’s confidence. Remember Bennett?! Cut him because he dared expect playing time even with Witten starting. This is what separates great coaches from average ones. Jimmy Johnson would make him the greatest tight end in the NFL. No matter where he came from. I do agree, He need to let his game speak for him. I said last year when they tagged him ZEUS, he would be humbled. I PRAY WE LET THIS BEAST DEVELOP! GIVE THE MAN A FAIR CHANCE!! He may help save your Job, Coach Garrett! Remember you were never a head coach but Jerry gave you a shot. How soon we forget. RED ZONE MONSTER!
PULLING FOR YOU, RICO!!! There will never be another WITTEN, stop trying to clone him.

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