Jerry Jones didn’t to observe the Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame game with the watchful eye of the owner/general manager as usual.
He was sidetracked just a little as the man of the hour as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
“It’s a little different when you walk in that dressing room and you are in there with the team right before the game and Charles Haley hits you and hugs you and grabs you so hard that you feel like you got hit on the opening kickoff,” Jones said. “There was a lot of that. I had a special surprise that I’m going to talk about tomorrow. A very special surprise from somebody very special, Phil Knight.”
But three players did stand out to Jones, tight end Rico Gathers, rookie quarterback Cooper Rush and receiver Andy Jones.
Gathers, who played basketball in college and is in his second year with the Cowboys after not playing football since the eighth grade, caught three passes for 59 yards and a 26-yard touchdown. He played 60 snaps in the game and continues to improve every time he plays.
Jones recalled that former quarterback Tony Romo was very high on Gathers from their days on the scout team last year.
“I liked Rico Gathers,” Jones said. “We knew he was going to get all the snaps. He got them. No questions at 280 pounds, he was laboring at the end of the game. He’s a weapon. Romo told me. Last thing he said was ‘we ate them up all year, me and Rico, during our practices last year’. He said Rico was a weapon. I thought Rico did real well.”
Rush, an undrafted rookie from Central Michigan, completed nine of 18 passes for 87 yards and a 14-yard touchdown pass to Uzoma Nwachukwu.
Jones caught three passes for 39 yards to continue what has been a strong start to training camp.
“I liked Rush,” Jones said. “I thought Rush accounted for himself well. That was some pressure stuff he got to see. I thought he got the ball out real good. And Andy Jones...he is just stacking them up. He has had some good practices.”