If you polled Cowboys fans on which young player has the most potential to blossom into something special, there’d undoubtedly be a few people answering Rico Gathers.
The basketball player turned tight end possesses all of the physical tools to be the next big thing; we got a glimpse of it during 2017’s preseason.
As Rico is still new to the game of football, development for him is key. In fact, it’s critical.
Much has been made about how Rico is still learning, and he’s spent his first two seasons in the NFL on the practice squad and injured reserve, respectively.
While Gathers has a future Hall of Famer to mirror himself after ahead of him on the depth chart in Jason Witten, the coaching staff molding him at this stage is of extreme importance.
On Tuesday Jason Garrett announced that Cowboys tight ends coach Steve Loney would be retiring, and this marks the second person who holds this job to retire in as many years (Mike Pope last year).
This means that Rico Gathers will have his third position coach in his third season. While that’s far from a reason to panic, it’s not ideal.
Jason Garrett will be staying in place, and for the moment it seems as if offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will be as well. Many believe that the latter staying would in fact be detrimental to any offensive growth for any player in general, but there’s no denying their roles are more important in Rico’s life than his position coach.
Dallas needs to understand just what they have in their tight end group. Rico isn’t the only young tight end who they believe has a promising future, they made it a point to keep Blake Jarwin when Philadelphia showed interest in him during 2017.
As much as you won’t believe it, Jason Witten won’t play forever. At some point Dallas is going to have to begin really developing players like Rico and Jarwin, and they need a point of stability to do so. Three coaches in three years is hardly stable.