It would be ridiculous for the Cowboys to cut Rico Gathers

Sorry for another Rico Gathers post, but with 7 of 9 front page writers voting to cut Rico, something needs to be said.

First off, no one on the Cowboys, or any of us, know which of the Cowboys curent tight ends will end up the best. Except we hope it is not Geoff Swaim, because he pretty clearly is only a blocking tight end who can catch an occasional pass. As for Rico, Blake and Dalton, we have no idea who will end up the best, and we won't know by the end of the preseason. So it would be a crap shoot to cut any of these guys.

Second, other than Jason Witten, tight ends on Dallas have been injured on a regular basis. Hanna missed a season, and parts of others. Geoff Swaim has been injured, I believe more than once. Rico went down with a concussion. And no one knows the durability of Blake or Dalton. Since Dallas runs a fair number of 3 TE sets, they need at least 3 active TEs per game. If any of them get hurt during the year, do they want to be on the waiver wire for a sub who doesn't know the system? This is a major reason Dallas has kept 4 TEs, even with Ironman Witten.

Third, Rico Gathers is again showing in practice that he can be uncoverable. If you saw the one handed grab, that play could not be stopped by any single coverage player in the NFL. Any trailing coverage guy is just going to be thrown over, given Rico's height advantage. To stop that you need to double Rico over the top. And if Rico is demanding double teams, then the Cowboys have won.

People say Rico is running a sloppy route. But who cares? He can be passed to visually. He is so big, the QB can see him and throw him the ball. It isn't like Cole Beasley, who can be hidden by a trailing DB if he's running a down field route. Rico is a lot taller than any DB or linebacker in the NFL. Dak won't have any trouble finding him.

If you can't yet trust him to run option routes, then don't run those routes. He's a mismatch even if he is only cutting one direction.

Fourth, for all the people who think his blocking is poor, what about Blake and Dalton? Dalton got abused at the goal line against SF. Rico didnt. Bo scored off Rico's hip.

As we stand here today, Rico Gathers might become the best and most complete tight end of this group.

Even if he isnt, he is a huge receiving threat, who can score from anywhere on the field.

That leads me to my final point. Rico is more than just a red zone threat. Did you see the one handed grab in practice? That was a post route. Could be run from the 20 yard line, and unless the safety can catch him and tackle him, that play could have been an 80 yard TD. In other words, Rico can run down the field routes and provide a huge target for Dak, from anywhere. He isn't just a jump ball guy in the red zone.

Let the preseason play out. And keep Rico because he's a mismatch. And the Cowboys need that.

PS. For all the guys thinking we need the roster spot for a 6th or 7th receiver, think again. The Cowboys only used 4 receivers the last 2 years, with the 5th guy getting very few targets. A 6th receiver isn't going to be active on game day unless there is an injury. And a 7th guy would need 2 injuries to have any hope of making the 46 man game day group.


PPS - I decided to come back here and temper some of my comments about Rico. He's not uncoverable. But he can be and grow into becoming a mismatch receiver that the Cowboys could really use. My main argument for not cutting Rico is the first one - that we don't know which of these guys will develop the best, and we won't know at the end of the pre-season. Plus, for durability concerns, the Cowboys need depth here more than they need it at some other positions.

Dallas could decide to trade for a veteran tight end and jettison one of these guys. But if the idea is to develop one or two new tight ends, they have to keep all three of these guys (plus Swaim) to see how they pan out. If you cut the wrong one, you could be hurting offensive production this year, and would have to go back to the drawing board next year.


Here's a better angle, in slow motion.


After the preseason game against Cincy, it looks to me like Rico Gathers is the Cowboys' best overall tight end. Perhaps Swaim is a better blocker, but neither Jarwin nor Schultz is. While Rico is clearly the only receiving threat Dallas has at TE.


8/21. I've decided to keep updating this post rather than write another one. Here's what Jerry Jones said:

"We talk about being a weapon in the red zone and he’s certainly that. He’s making those because of his obvious talent and physical advantage, size, leaping ability, strength, hands all that.

Of course there is a "but" at the end, as if there could be something that would negate "obvious talent and physical advantage, size, leaping ability, strength [and] hands."

The Cowboys are totally overthinking the Rico situation. He passes the visual test as the most dominant receiver, not just tight end, on the roster. As he develops, he's going to scare the crap out of teams that try to cover him. Because he's just a beast with the ball. That's what the Cowboys have to pay attention to. You can't coach "beastness." Just like you can't coach speed. Everything else can be learned.

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