Rico Gathers gaining weight, hopes to gain some playing time in Dallas

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When the Cowboys spent a sixth-round draft pick on Rico Gathers in 2016, they knew it would take a while for him to develop: Gathers, who played basketball at Baylor, hadn’t played football since middle school.

But after two NFL seasons and zero regular-season games played, it’s time for Gathers to finally show what he can do on the field. Toward that end, Gathers said he is gaining weight to get into the 280-285 range, significantly bigger than the 265 he weighed in at a year ago, when he said he like he was getting pushed around too much in the preseason.

“Last year was a big adjustment,” Gathers said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I was going for more trying to be quicker, trying to be faster. But that hurt me in the blocking game a lot where I felt like I was just a body, just a body catching a blow.”

A bigger Gathers will, he hopes, be a better Gathers.

“Now coming off, I’m delivering the blow,” Gathers said. “I’m delivering the shot.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett seems to like what he sees from Gathers during offseason practices.

“He’s a different player now than he was a couple of years ago when he first showed up,” Garrett said. “But he just needs to play more football.”

Gathers isn’t the tight end who will make people forget Jason Witten, but he’s hoping that he can at least get on the field at a position where the Cowboys are now trying to replace one of the best ever to play it.

5 responses to “Rico Gathers gaining weight, hopes to gain some playing time in Dallas

  1. Doesn’t make much sense to worry about an ultra-raw prospect not playing in a game for two years when the first was spent on the practice squad (as expected) and the second showed MAJOR improvement before the season but then didn’t happen because of a season-long concussion (Gathers says he was cleared to return before season’s end, but by then he was too far behind to get up to speed in time to play on the active roster). That’s why injuries, especially concussions, stink. If he’s healthy this year, we’ll see what he has, and he’ll sink or swim, but there’s no reason to go and prematurely judge this one.

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