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Rico Gathers May Make Cowboys Roster on Raw Ability Alone

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Rico Gathers

For the Dallas Cowboys, Rico Gathers may be the best known tight end on the team. That, however, doesn't mean anything when it comes to his chances of making the 53-man roster in 2018. It won't be easy to fill Jason Witten's shoes in Dallas, and having a group of inexperienced players will certainly make the task even more difficult.

From the moment he was drafted, most in Cowboys Nation have rooted hard for the young basketball star who planned on transitioning to football. Talk about a sports fairy-tale! Of course fans want to see him succeed.

Heading into the 2018 season, though, things have changed. The mostly unjustified hype surrounding Gathers has died out and hopes of him making the roster seem slim. His competition, although inexperienced, has the upper hand right now thanks to their blocking skills. For an offense like the Cowboys' blocking is obviously a huge deal.

I think Gathers will end up on someone's roster but I doubt he'll be wearing the Star. If I were a betting man , I'd bet he'll get cut and the Cowboys' front office will move on from the sixth-round gamble they made in 2016.

Even still, there is hope for the 24-year old tight end in Dallas. For Rico Gathers to make the team, he needs to prove he can be a very dangerous weapon in the passing game, specifically in the red zone.

Rico Gathers, Rams

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

You see, with Dez Bryant's departure and Witten's retirement, the Cowboys don't seem to have a go-to guy when they're knocking on opponent's end zones. Michael Gallup, Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley are a promising starting trio of wide receivers, but how intimidated will defenses will be by them inside their own 20-yard line?

Probably not much.

If you add a 6'6" athletic tight end who can go up for the ball to the equation, things change. Rico is bigger than most defenders and could become a weapon thanks to his raw ability. Even though he still has a long way to go to become a starting TE in the NFL, he could become very effective in certain situations.

Gathers is the underdog on this position battle. Geoff Swaim probably has his spot locked up thanks to him being the most experienced one of them all. Rookie Dalton Schultz seems to be the player with the most upside. Blake Jarwin is clearly liked by the coaching staff.

If the Cowboys decide to carry just three tight ends, the decision will probably come down to Gathers and Jarwin.

If Rico is to win the battle, he'll have to rely on his abilities as a pass catcher. At the end of the day, Dak Prescott will need dangerous targets in his third year in the league. It's up to Rico to prove he can be just that if he wants to make the team.

Tell me what you think about "Rico Gathers May Make Cowboys Roster on Raw Ability Alone" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



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 @PepoR99.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Michael White

    August 4, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    If the Cowboys let him go; he goes to another team and ball out and our TE’s play average then I truly believe it will start the downward slide for Garrett…I’ve been on record saying that Garrett’s offensive philosophy is unimaginative, doesn’t breed raw talent into success and he has allowed too many potential playmakers to leave…They let Marty B leave he shows out for other teams and he wins a Superbowl in the process. People also forget about Danny Amendola; played the same position as Cole Beasley..we let him go only to go out and get the same version of him later; when New England showed how he could be used..

    • Stephen L. Holley

      August 7, 2018 at 11:15 am

      TRUTH!!

  2. Chet Horton

    August 4, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Rico is not a dangerous threat and he is not a good football player. He might make the roster but the better move is to cut him and keep both the FB they got from the Raiders, who is a far better threat is the passing game than Rico and can block, and keep Smith and Bo at RB. Rico is a horrible football player. We have 2 really good TE’s they just played behind Witten. Swaim has gashed defenses in regular season games and Jarwin is giving our defense fits. You guys who love Rico are blinded by your loyalty to him or you are basketball fans and can’t recognize he is just average athletically for a TE. He isn’t quick or any faster than the other TE’s. They are all in the 4.7 range. If he moves on and gets some PT he will never be as good as our other TE’s as a complete TE which is what this offense needs not a pass catching TE.

    • ghetto eskimo

      August 5, 2018 at 10:02 am

      who says we need a “complete” TE;.. get this vision of the next Jason Witten out of your heads…. we NEED A TE WHO CAN SCORE!!! That’s it. do you think Jimmy Graham/Antonio Gates are complete TE’s, they can’t even blocker a CB, but last i checked… they were an ALL PRO’s… the guy is 6’6.. the tallest CB/S in the league is 6’3!!! you don’t need a genius or a Princeton degree to know that is a WIN!!!! let him catch touchdowns.. if he doesn’t for us.. he surely will for someone else!!

      • Chet Horton

        August 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm

        1) Get this idea of a pass catching TE out of your head. This is a running offense and a TE is needed to block first and catch 2nd in our offense. If we don’t run the ball A LOT we won’t make the playoffs. You need your RB’s and offensive line to smash mouths and score touchdowns.

        2) We already have 2 real TE’s who can actually play football that can score more TD’s than Rico. Rico is a dud. He doesn’t isn’t even in the same league as bad college TE’s. A pass catching TE is a waste of roster space.

        3) Speaking of roster space… it is a way better option to cut Rico and go short of the TE position to make room for the FB they got from Oakland and keep both Smith and Bo Scarborough. The Smith can double as an H-Back and is a way better threat in the passing game than Rico ever will be so is the FB from Oakland for that matter.

        4) Everyone needs to accept and embrace that this team is a running team first. If we don’t run the ball a lot we don’t win. Pass catching TE’s who can’t block or play special teams do not fit this team and the team should not change that or make exceptions. Period end of story.

        • RE2

          August 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

          @ Chet, You just can’t stop with your foolish posts! Continue posting this foolishness and your football card will have to be revoked!!!

          • Chet Horton

            August 5, 2018 at 8:43 pm

            @RE2 you are the fool if you believe Rico is anything but a waste of time. He will be cut and amount to nothing in the NFL. Swaim and Jarwin however will do very well this year. Fuck your football card bullshit. Everything thing I said about this team and Rico is spot on. Rico can’t even hold David Wells jock for god sake. I can’t wait the see the articles full of excuses, what if’s, and wait and see’s when his non football playing ass gets cut. May not be this year but he will get cut and disappear into oblivion where he belongs.

    • RE2

      August 5, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      @Chet,

      YOU SOUND LIKE A FOOL! PLEASE POST ON THE WASHINGTON, PHILLY, OR NY BLOG PLEASE!

      Rico Gathers in a two tightend set with Blake Jarwin is going to be a BEAST of a Combination!

      • Chet Horton

        August 5, 2018 at 8:59 pm

        I post on some of the idiotic articles that are published here and I comment on ignorant posts like yours and the guy I commented on before yours. I want the Dallas Cowboys to win a Super Bowl and allowing a player who can’t block to play a single down when our success depends on running the football is foolish. Also, to keep a player on your team that can only catch and doesn’t even catch or run better than the other players you have at that position is stupid. He can’t be trusted to block because he is a liability and could get your star running back who you are counting on to get you to the Super Bowl. If that’s not enough he can’t play special teams either.

  3. Mr. Jaguar

    August 5, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Imo, the Cowboys should keep Rico, since the organization has put resources behind his 3 year development. It wouldn’t surprise me, if Rico makes the 53 man roster. Also, it wouldn’t surprise me, if he’s more of a gamer, than a practice player. Imo, Rico, will rebound by making plays on 3rd downs, when his number is called, during the pre-season games. Swaim, Gathers and Jarwin, with Schultz going to the practice squad. Just my two cents worth.

  4. Nicholas Succarotte

    August 5, 2018 at 3:38 am

    While rico is not yet a good all around complete football player, he is a good receiving threat and a good red zone threat, hes very big, and can box any defender out and out jump almost any defender so receiving wise in certain situations he could become unstoppable. But down side is he is inexperienced and cant block worth a lick. So i think it comes down to how good are tightends do in camp and the preseason games. If we dont have a TE that can get open and make good plays down the field then we should keep him, but if 2 of the other tightends play a lot better then most think they can and will then then we can afford to cut him and keep a different player.

  5. Russ_Te

    August 5, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Gotta appreciate these people who are frowning Gathers after he dominated the couple of quarters of football we’ve seen him in…

  6. Chet Horton

    August 6, 2018 at 7:16 am

    You’re an idiot and completely off base on Rico and Swaim. This is all anyone needs to know about the Cowboys receiving TE’s. When you have a guy like Swain who is a very capable blocker and can run and catch like this the Cowboys will never use Rico’s one dimensional ass. He did this in games that actually matter regular season games not preseason games against guys who are fighting for 3rd string in base defenses. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XP1CbVWr7Ww

    Where is Rico’s regular season game film? Oh wait… he isn’t good enough to have any. I’d say he should go back to basketball but he wasn’t very good at that either.

    • ghetto eskimo

      August 6, 2018 at 7:46 am

      I’m still trying to figure out how Blake Jarwin and Geoff Swaim wowed so many people??? And this talk of Bo Scarborough?!?!? You do realize he made it the 6th round (the same round as Rico), no one else picked him for a reason… if you want to believe that this team can only win by running the ball you have been drinking way too much Garrett Kool-Aid.. this is a PASSING LEAGUE… we can’t win by running an offense made in the 90’s!! That’s Garrett’s problem… he refuses to adjust! He doesn’t adjust at halftime, he doesn’t alter routes… he never changes!

      • Chet Horton

        August 6, 2018 at 9:05 am

        Swaim did by earning his playing time by being good in all phases of his game and answering the bell in regular season meaningful games. He has been good when he got opportunities behind Witten. Jarwin did it by beating our 1st team defense everyday of practice in all phases of the TE position and special teams. Bo Scarborough is a football player who can be a good 3rd string RB and play special teams. Rico isn’t a football player and has no hope of becoming one. This team has posted its best records and super bowl victories by running the football. We will never be a passing team and if we do we will go back to the 8-8 years. This is team is a running team first and no amount of your idiot misguided love for your pet cat Rico is going to change it. I want as many wins as possible and a super bowl victory now not by shitting in one hand and hoping in the other on players who have never played college football or a single down in the regular season. If Rico can turn it around and miraculously learn how to block well, play special teams, learn the playbook, work a lot harder than he does, and play well on game day (all things Swaim already does) then I will be happy to accept him and be happy he is a Cowboy. If you can’t help this team with everyone they are trying do on offense and special teams then you don’t belong on this team or any team for that matter and he can’t do that right now. Garret is a good coach and like it or not deserving or not it isn’t going to change and he isn’t to blame. Players are always to blame and always deserve the credit when it goes well. They are the ones who play the game and deserve all the blame and all the credit all the time.

  7. Stephen L. Holley

    August 7, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Start working Armstrong at linebacker!!!!!

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Star Blog

Jason Garrett Can’t be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

Brian Martin

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Jason Garrett Can't be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

One of the few positives most of us were looking forward to after the Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams was the fact that Scott Linehan would no longer be the offensive coordinator for America's Team. Everything was pointing to his dismissal, but that may not be the case according to Head Coach Jason Garrett.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Jason Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will return in 2019. "We don't anticipate any significant changes on our staff," Garrett said.

I can't say that I was happy upon learning Jason Garrett plans on retaining Scott Linehan as the Cowboys OC in 2019. In fact, my first thought was… Well, something better left unsaid. I'm sure many of you can kind of read my mind, because I'm pretty positive you had all that the same thoughts running through your head as well.

In all honesty, I didn't think there was a snowball chance in hell Scott Linehan would return to Dallas after the conclusion of the 2018 season. After all, the Cowboys nearly fired him during the bye week earlier this season, meaning his job security was already on thin ice. He didn't do anything to improve things in my opinion.

I know Jason Garrett has said Scott Linehan will return as the OC in 2019, but not for a second do I believe it. We are less than 72 hours hours removed from the Cowboys exit from the playoffs and I highly doubt any of Dallas' decision-makers has had the time to sit down and discuss who stays and who goes. In fact, I know they haven't.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Stephen Jones says they won't comment on anything with coaching staff but that they need to take a deep look at why they fell short. Says it a little early to speculate about players or coaches. They haven't had a meeting about it yet.

I think once the Cowboys brass sits down and reevaluates the 2018 season, they will come to the conclusion they can do better than Scott Linehan as their offensive coordinator. There were just too many times throughout the season where the playcalling was a problem just. It's just time to move on, despite the vote of confidence by Jason Garrett.

Of course, this could just be me trying to read between the lines hoping and praying Scott Linehan is finally fired. Like many of you, I've grown way too tired of his predictable and dated playcalling. It's time to move on and find someone more innovative who can maximize the talent the Dallas Cowboys have on the roster, much like Kris Richard did with the defense.

You can either choose to believe Jason Garrett or not. I for one have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys staying status quo with their coaching staff, especially their offensive coordinator. But, only time will tell.

Do you think it's time for the Dallas Cowboys to fire Scott Linehan?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

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Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

If you were to have clicked over to Sportsbook Review, you could have seen what all the premier online sportsbooks were dealing on the Cowboys/Rams game before kickoff. Sites like Bovada, which incidentally you can read a Bovada Review at Sportsbook Review as well, had the Rams favored in every quarter, in both halves, and installed LA as seven-point favorites over Dallas. As is often the case, the number was nearly spot on as the Rams bounced our 'Boys out of the postseason 30-22. It was a heart-wrenching loss for Dallas fans everywhere but for those who put their money where their mouths were, it was particularly painful in what turned out to be a one-point difference between losing and pushing.

Let’s look on the bright side, though. The Cowboys not only copped the division crown but the draft picks from April bore fruit this season. Linebacker and No. 19 overall pick Leighton Vander Esch is a certified stud while third-round pick Michael Gallup proved he is a bona fide NFL receiver. Second-round offensive lineman Connor Williams had difficulties at left guard, but at the very least, has a season under his belt at the next level and could turn into a legitimate bodyguard for Prescott in 2019.

And let’s not forget about the trade for Amari Cooper, which turned Dallas from a squad struggling to find its identity to an NFC East champ in winning seven of its last nine games since Cooper arrived. This year’s edition also bested a tough Seahawks team in the first-round of the playoffs.

Let’s face it, folks, no one expected the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl this season and what we got was about as much as we could have hoped with the current roster as it is presently constructed.

Dak Prescott has one more year on his rookie contract and will be looking to score a big payday at the end of next season, if not sooner. The Cowboys could enter negotiations and lock Prescott up for the foreseeable future, but it might be best for both parties to see what 2019 brings and go from there. Either way, Dallas will pay beaucoup bucks to keep Prescott in a Cowboys uniform so watching and waiting will most likely be the tact management takes with their star quarterback, with a franchise tag in 2020 as an option as well.

In the team’s immediate future will be signing their second-round pick in 2014, DeMarcus Lawrence. The talented defensive end provided the Cowboys with the edge rusher they needed for parts of this season and his combined 25 sacks over the last two seasons would be nearly impossible to replace. Dallas franchised him this season but will most likely put together a long-term deal for Lawrence in the offseason.

Ezekiel Elliott has also reportedly been hinting at his own contract extension even though he is contractually committed to the Cowboys for next season with a team option in '20.

Ironically, one of the strengths of the Dallas Cowboys in recent years was a relatively weak link this season. The offensive line was decimated by injuries and Pro Bowler Travis Frederick missed the entire season. But those wounds will heal for next season and the old gang will be back together again.

The Cowboys have loads of cap space but are without a first-round pick due to the trade for Amari Cooper. Nevertheless, the young blood on the team looks poised to contribute for many years and there will be money available to woo free agents to a club now viewed as a legitimate contender.

If you want to look at next season’s odds, make sure to educate yourself on which online sportsbooks are the most reputable, trusted, and reliable. Read the Bovada Review over at SBR and see what customers are saying about one of the industry’s top sportsbooks. Then, when the lines come out on next season’s division, conference, and Super Bowl winners, you can be informed and maybe throw a few bucks on the 'Boys from Dallas!



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Star Blog

Cowboys’ Window Depends On Maximizing, And Helping, Dak Prescott

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Future Hinges Heavily On Dak Prescott And Their Future Offensive Coordinator

Saturday night's Division Round loss was met with mixed reaction among Cowboys Nation.

Some fans, claiming they are the rational ones who hold the Cowboys to a higher standard, believe this might end up being their best chance at a Super Bowl for some time. The young players this roster is built around will only get older and more expensive as the years go by, and 2018 ends with yet another Jason Garrett-led playoff loss.

Other fans, claiming they are the rational ones, said that Dallas accomplished a lot this season, climbing back from a 3-5 start to win the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a competitive game to one of the league's best. This group believes that the Cowboys championship window is as open as it has been in years, with young talent galore on Dallas' roster.

Whether this is true, however, hinges on the shoulders of two individuals. One of which, ironically, hasn't even been named yet and the other a source of constant debate among those same segmented fans.

Those people, of course, are quarterback Dak Prescott and whoever ends up as the offensive coordinator in 2019.

Dak Prescott is a good quarterback.

Let's start there. I firmly believe that Dak Prescott did enough during his third season to earn the contract extension he will likely receive from the Cowboys within one of the next two offseasons. Especially once the Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Clearly, Prescott is far from "perfect" is a passer. He makes mistakes in decision making, he sails some throws, and he sometimes exhibits inconsistent footwork when the pocket breaks down. But we focus too much on his mistakes while simply glossing over his accomplishments, talents, and upside.

Not only is Dak Prescott someone that the team responds to and believes in, but he is also a good football player. Prescott finished the 2018 season 12th in total Expected Points Added, ahead of quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Baker Mayfield. He's also finished 3rd and 4th in raw QBR during his first two seasons in the NFL respectively. And, despite his slow start to 2018, Dak Prescott ended his third season on the best run of games in terms of QBR he has ever had.

Prescott is improving, and this is evident each week. He played more comfortably in the pocket over the last 6 games of the season, panicking less, taking fewer dumb sacks, and abandoning his technique fewer and fewer. And, while he doesn't run as often as many would like, the times Prescott does carry the ball often change drives and games.

And while I despise "QB Wins" as a determining statistic, the fact remains that bad quarterbacks don't win at the rate Dak Prescott does. Three straight winning seasons has been rare in Dallas over the last 15 years, and Prescott orchestrated this his first three seasons as a starter.

Passing Wins Championships.

Though very different than the old cliche, this appears more accurate by the season. The final four teams remaining in the NFL are each top 5 in passing DVOA, while not a single one has a top 10 defense by DVOA.

Neither the Chiefs nor the Rams have had a good run defense at all this season, but stopping the run doesn't matter as much as stopping the pass most weeks in today's NFL. I know this sounds absurd after the Cowboys run defense got abused by Los Angeles, but the numbers often bear this out.

The Cowboys have to do everything in their power to aid Dak Prescott and the passing offense this offseason. They need to draft another pass catcher, preferably with their second round pick. They need to continue to improve the chemistry between Prescott, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

And, maybe most importantly, they need to hire an offensive coordinator who can maximize this passing game.

Scott Linehan simply is not the answer. And if the Cowboys are going to make the most out of whatever title window they may have, the offensive play caller will be the most critical man in the building going forward.

Unfortunately, latest reports point to Linehan returning in 2019.



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