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One of the low-key shakier spots of the Dallas Cowboys roster is the tight end group.

Jason Witten, affectionately nicknamed “Gold Jacket Witt” by Ezekiel Elliott last season, leads the group and will one day have a bust in Canton, OH; however, that doesn’t at all offer any peace for the position group in 2017.

Behind Witten we’ve got Geoff Swaim and James Hanna, both coming off of seasons in which they suffered injuries that ended their seasons (Hanna’s occurring well before Swaim’s). Beyond that trifecta exists a fourth option resembling a bit of a unicorn as far as football players are concerned.

Rico Gathers used to play basketball and he is physically built in a way that allows him to really score in the paint. He’s about a billion feet tall and conceivably a redzone threat worthy of any offense. Is he the heir to Witten’s throne as TE1 in Dallas? Rico himself understands the stakes here and seems prepared to do something about them.

“I feel like that’s my big brother, but also my competition and stuff. Because he’s gonna make me the best player that I can be. Just feeding off his energy, feeding off his leadership, feeding off his, you know, everything that he brings to the table as a 15-year veteran,” Rico told us in regards to Jason Witten on Saturday during the National Fantasy Football Conference.

“Me myself, I want to get to that point someday. I just want to pick apart his brain, pick apart everything that he does. Even with him taking care of his body, able to sustain a healthy body throughout his career, you just want to take everything that he brings to the table and try to add it to your game and make yourself the best version of yourself that you can be.”

“So I’m very thankful to have a guy like that in my corner. Whenever I watch film that’s the only person that I look at, is him and myself. Anything that he brings to the table to get better, that’s what I do.”

If tomorrow I woke up and my job was to be a tight end on the Dallas Cowboys I would literally do everything that Rico Gathers is describing here.

“Gold Jacket Witt” is also the gold standard, and it’s so great to see that Gathers not only understands this but embraces it so early in his career (unlike previous talented tight ends that have played in Dallas behind Witten).

Hopefully Rico Gathers has a lot of film to watch this season between he and Jason Witten as maybe we’ll finally get the two tight end sets we’ve been dreaming about forever around here.


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