The Cowboys have a long history of converting college basketball players into NFL players. Cornell Green, Preston Pearson and Pete Gent are among the basketball converts who made good with the Cowboys.
Now, the Cowboys are at it again with Rico Gathers, who played hoops at Baylor.
The Cowboys made him a sixth-round pick last season, knowing he was a developmental prospect. Gathers spent last season on the practice squad so he didn’t get much time with Dak Prescott.
But with tight ends Geoff Swaim and James Hanna still rehabbing from surgeries, Gathers is getting some first-team reps during OTAs.
“He’s getting better,” Prescott said via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “That’s just what we’re trying to do each and every day with him, get him better, make sure he’s learning that playbook. What I like about him is just look at him, how big he is, the wide range he has of being able to throw him the ball, the catch radius is what I’m saying.
“He can be a special player. He’s just got to keep working and keep getting better and he can definitely help this team.”
Gathers last played football in middle school, so he still has a sharp learning curve before he ever finds his way to the field.
“He’s a basketball player,” Prescott said. “Throw him the ball up high, give him a chance and he’s going to come down with the rebound. There are great tight ends in this league that are Hall of Famers that were basketball players. Not putting that on Rico, but I’m just saying that he’s got something those guys got. He’s just got to keep improving.”