Dallas Cowboys

Former basketball standout Rico Gathers on Cowboys’ practice squad

Rico Gathers has made the Cowboys’ practice squad.
Rico Gathers has made the Cowboys’ practice squad. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Rico Gathers will continue his football dreams with the Dallas Cowboys.

Gathers was part of the Cowboys’ cuts on Saturday to get the roster down to 53, but he’ll rejoin the team on their practice squad. Gathers announced the news on his Twitter handle, writing: “Glad to still be a part of the Dallas Cowboys organization.”

Gathers, the former Baylor basketball standout, is one of 10 practice squad players for the Cowboys. It should have been a fairly easy decision for Gathers to return, too, as he has built a rapport with tight ends coach Mike Pope and gets to learn on a daily basis under Jason Witten.

The Cowboys knew Gathers would be a project to turn from power forward into tight end, but he has shown strides. Gathers made an impressive catch in the fourth quarter in the preseason finale Thursday and turned it into an 8-yard gain, showcasing some of his paint presence in the process.

“I did box somebody out and turned it into a big-yard play,” Gathers said, smiling about his first professional catch. “I was just trying to stay up and push for some more yards. It was a crazy catch. I don’t know how I pulled that one off, but I guess reaction and timing is everything.”

Gathers is fully committed to purusing a football career as well. After Thursday’s game, Gathers said he hasn’t got the itch to go back to his basketball roots.

“Nah,” Gathers said if he ever thought about going back to basketball. “This wasn’t going to be an easy task for anybody switching sports. For the most part, it’s about commitment. I could’ve got down on myself plenty of times, I have got down on myself plenty of times, but that only motivated me to keep coming back each day and getting better. For the most part, I feel I’ve done that.”

Coach Jason Garrett also had good things to say about Gathers after the game, saying: “He’s made great strides over the last few weeks.”

Now he has another opportunity to continue to grow as a member of the practice squad.

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