It’s only been one preseason contest, but second-year tight end Rico Gathers looks like he could have a legitimate role for the Dallas Cowboys.
Several players impressed in the Dallas Cowboys’ opening preseason contest, but of all said players, tight end Rico Gathers was the most impressive. After finishing the game with three receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown, it looks like Gathers could solidify himself as a number two tight end behind Jason Witten.
Gathers athletic ability is unquestioned, but it’s his natural feel for the game of football that remained a question mark. Gathers hasn’t played football long, but the former college basketball player looked like a veteran on Thursday night. Lining up from the traditional tight end spot and the slot, Gathers looked comfortable as a pass catcher for the ‘Boys.
"“I made some pretty instinctive plays in this game, and that’s the stuff you can’t coach,” Gathers said to the Star-Telegram. “You’ve just got to pick that stuff up.”"
Last year, Gathers had what was essentially a red shirt year on the practice squad. This year, it looks like he’ll be spending time on the regular roster. His size, speed, and abilities to get jump balls could be a solid red zone option for Dak Prescott.
As good as Witten is, he’s far from a touchdown machine. Gathers showed he can go up and get the football on his 26 yard touchdown from Kellen Moore.
Gathers also told the Star-Telegram:
"“When it’s up in the air, it’s my ball. That’s how I look at it. That’s how I was coached. That’s how I’ve always been since I played basketball and stuff with rebounds. So I just look at it pretty much the same way.”"
If Gathers continues to develop his game, he could even serve as a potential heir to the seemingly ageless Jason Witten.
It’s only one preseason game, but so far so good for Rico Gathers.