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Cowboys' Rico Gathers: I'm going to be next best TE

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Dallas Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers hasn't played a regular-season game in two professional seasons, yet he's confident Year 3 will mark his breakout.

The 24-year-old posted a message on Instagram over the weekend stating his goals for 2018 and beyond.

"Facts is facts," Gathers wrote. "It's only the beginning. Truth is I'm Ready for more. Been ready for more. The dilemma of me not being ready is over. I got a piece of it last year and it felt so good doing it, y'all will never understand that feeling. It was like the most epic scene of movie before the power goes out in ya house for a few hours and you forget all about what you was watching. I watched those two games the other day and I told myself "Ima be the next best tight end in this league" and I believe that with all my heart. lol y'all continue to hate while I continue to shine I love y'all, y'all make me better. God Knows my heart and that's all that counts to me. #Blessed #HumbleandHungry #LemmeEat #IWantTheWholePieThisTime #NewSZNSameRZN #killeverything"

Those two games Gathers referred to were last year's preseason tilts in which he compiled seven catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, looking every bit the athletic freak that got him drafted despite not playing football in college. However, Gathers suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit during training camp and was eventually placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

The tight end spent his rookie season on the Cowboys' practice squad after being drafted in the sixth round.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Gathers played basketball at Baylor University before leaping directly to the NFL. His raw enticing athleticism led the Cowboys to use a draft pick on the TE, despite Gathers not playing football since middle school. There was some thought in 2016 when Dallas cut Gathers before the season that a team might scoop up the tight end and carry him on the active roster just to get the freak athlete in the building. Gathers, however, has remained on the sideline in Dallas.

The Cowboys will return Jason Witten for a 16th season, but Jason Garrett & Co. would be tickled pink if Gathers lived up to the hype and became a pass-catching weapon for Dallas in 2018.

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