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Rico Gathers working hard to be on somebody’s 53-man roster this season


The Cowboys saw tight ends Jason Witten and James Hanna retire this offseason. It leaves a hole at the position even with their selection of Dalton Schultz in the fourth round.

Rico Gathers, who did not play a regular-season game in his first two seasons, acknowledges the opportunity.

He spent his rookie season on the practice squad after playing college basketball, and a concussion kept Gathers on injured reserve last season.

The biggest thing for me this year is just making it to the regular season, Gathers said. I have to make sure I’m healthy and make sure I’m able to be on somebody’s 53-man roster.

The Cowboys took a flyer on Gathers in 2016, using a sixth-round pick on him. He showed signs of development during the 2017 preseason by catching seven passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the first two preseason games.

But Gathers took a helmet-to-helmet hit from defensive back Kavon Frazier during an August 15 practice, and the concussion ended Gathers’ season before it began.

He was cleared from concussion protocol before Week 7, but the Cowboys elected not to use one of their short-term injured reserve designations on Gathers.

Gutekunst’s old job will now be filled by two people. Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowksi have been promoted to co-directors of player personnel. Sullivan was the director of college scouting the last two years and Wojciechowski is making the move from director of pro personnel.

Matt Malaspina will take over Sullivan’s former job and the Packers made several other promotions in the department. They also announced the hiring of former Browns scout Pat Moore and former NFL defensive back Brandian Ross as college scouts.

That’s the worst call of the century, Manziel said. My whole life I’ve been taught to throw it right at the stick that’s marking the down. … I thought I got it there, he (official) told me I was about a yard short. That’s the first time I’ve heard of that, that’s new to me.

So too was running to the locker room at halftime and being told there still was a final play to run despite the clock having run out.

I’m still learning some things up here, he said. There’s going to be some of those growing pains.

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