What an up-and-down ride it’s been for Rico Gathers since he as drafted by the Cowboys in 2016.
Although he hadn’t played a down of football since middle school Gathers was was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and was signed to the practice squad that year.
After a strong training camp and standout performance in the 2017 preseason games, Gathers made the Cowboys’ initial 53-man roster in 2017, only to be placed on injured reserve due to a concussion (coupled with neck and jaw injuries) suffered during practice.
Now entering his third season with the Cowboys, he is far from a complete product at tight end, which has prompted seemingly endless discussions about his future with the Cowboys. Yet he still delivers highlight plays that have his fans raving, and wondering if he should make the roster as a player who can potentially help the Cowboys win games (albeit in a limited role) in 2018.
And it looks like Jerry Jones has come around to that way of thinking:
Keeping Gathers would likely mean the Cowboys would keep four tight ends and might have to go short somewhere else, as a look at 10 different Cowboys roster projections will show.
And while Gathers fans will be pleased about this news, Jones kept his comments vague enough to allow for the possibility that Gathers might have to take another detour via the practice squad before eventually making the 53-man roster.
Kate Hairopoulos had a slightly different take than Mark Lane about what Jerry said:
Jerry on @1053thefan on if Rico Gathers will make roster: We've got to put our finger on what he can do for us, can he help us win? We do make decisions based on future potential but we have to specifically identify how he helps us now. ...The real issue is what you're giving up.— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) August 31, 2018
David Helman adds the full quote:
The guys on @1053thefan asked Jerry Jones about Rico this morning.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 31, 2018
Trying my best to read between the lines, this kinda sounds like maybe Rico gets a roster spot #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/YN0D05F4Sa
What all of this really means? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
[UPDATE, 12:55 pm ET] Ed Werder thinks what Jerry said means Rico is a roster lock.
On @1053thefan Jerry Jones indicates Rico will make roster. “We do make decisions on future potential, but we got to specifically identify how he helps us now. My inclination is that we can do that. I think that we can have a player like Rico Gathers and benefit and use him.”— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) August 31, 2018