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Let’s put Rico Gathers and his ever-growing hype into proper perspective

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Uncle Rico seems like he’s here to stay, but where does he truly belong on the Cowboys depth chart?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dez-pa-cito, the Cowboys seem to have found something in Rico.

That’s right. Rico Gathers looks like the next great tight end and all-world weapon, and the crowd said amen.

Rico Gathers has looked fantastic through two preseason games, and people are crowding around the fire of hype like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. It’s hard not to fan the flames when it seems like our greatest dreams are being realized here, but let’s calm ourselves down and add some necessary perspective.

Gold Jacket Jason Witten is the clear non-negotiable starting tight end on the Dallas Cowboys. We know this and have known it for what feels like a century.

Here’s where we need some perspective. There are a lot folks who are already willing to slot Rico in right behind Witt, and that seems like a great reach in the overreaction department. Rico shows an enormous amount of potential, but right now in terms of reality it is still just potential.

There are a lot of great elements to Rico Gathers’ game. He’s so fast considering his size, he has incredible hands for someone so new at this, and oh yea his size is literally larger than practically anyone on earth. Does this mean that we’re ready to trot him out as the primary tight end after Witten, remembering that he is still new at this, when things really matter?

Both Geoff Swaim and James Hanna have shown great production where it matters for the Dallas Cowboys - the run game. Swaim and Hanna contribute significantly as blocking tight ends, and considering this is the bread and butter of the Cowboys... that element wins out right now. Both Swaim and Hanna have not just more but actual experience at this level while Rico doesn’t have any at any level.

It’s silly to say that simply because Rico Gathers is not the veteran that Swaim or Hanna are that he’s below them on the depth chart, and that’s not what we’re doing here. The perspective here is that what Swaim and Hanna provide overall are to be heavily weighed against what Rico adds - a dynamic weapon in the pass game.

If you took the temperature of Cowboys fans the day after their preseason game in Los Angeles, most would say that Rico Gathers looks like the next great redzone weapon at Dak Prescott’s disposal. While that’s a great thing for Rico and the Cowboys, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s TE2 already.

In terms of complete tight ends, Rico is probably still behind both Swaim and Hanna... he just happens to be a far superior weapon in the pass game than either of them and that’s what looks sexy and grabs attention. The Cowboys are going to likely use Rico in the pass game when they can, but that doesn’t mean he should automatically unseat anyone in front of him just yet.

What do you think, BTB? In terms of depth chart positioning, where would you say Rico Gathers is right now?

Poll

Where is Rico Gathers on the Cowboys Depth Chart?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    TE2: The undisputed second-best
    (1149 votes)
  • 35%
    TE3: You still trust Swaim/Hanna a bit more
    (1408 votes)
  • 35%
    TE4: You’re excited, but not willing to call him a total tight end just yet
    (1403 votes)
3960 votes total Vote Now