On Tuesday the Cowboys made a few roster moves, including the waiving of Connor Hamlett coupled with the signing of M.J. McFarland. This was a swap out of sorts with tight ends, because the Cowboys kind of need one right now.
As we noted here at BTB on Tuesday, the depth of the tight ends in Dallas is starting to raise our blood pressure just a bit:
- Jason Witten is on Gold Jacket status... so he gets rest.
- Geoff Swaim is coming off of surgery, so the Cowboys are taking it easy with him.
- James Hanna is in the same boat as Geoff Swaim, he just got in earlier.
None of it really felt like it mattered before Tuesday’s practice though, thanks to the greatest tight end in human history Rico Gathers being on this team. Rico’s spot on this 53-man roster is as etched in stone as it can be, but even he now has an issue we have to deal with.
Today's injury report at camp: Tight end Rico Gathers suffered a concussion after an inadvertent helmet to... https://t.co/WblmLTFCrI— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 16, 2017
Given that Rico Gathers has a concussion, the Cowboys are really having to dig down deep into the tight end barrel just to field a team at times (and will have to do so for three more preseason games). A lot of people questioned why the team would bring in a tight end in Hamlett’s place, well this is exactly why Mr. McFarland is here.
His concussion does little (at least at this point) to influence his status on this team, but the Cowboys are looking at a potential circumstance where they can’t give Rico the volume of targets that they wanted to throughout the preseason period.
Garrett says Rico Gathers will get plenty of work in practice and games. Says he still needs more work. Has improved dramatically.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 14, 2017
It’s wise for the Cowboys to be cautious with Witten, Swaim, and Hanna. Now, pending the status of his health, it would be wise to be careful with Rico Gathers. This means we’re likely going to get a lot of M.J. against the Colts (at least Jaylon will be there), but the depth of this unit is quietly being tested early on this season.