Cowboys draft former Baylor hoops star Rico Gathers

Rico Gathers' first football practice since middle school will be with the Dallas Cowboys.

That's the leap Gathers, the former Baylor basketball player, will be looking to make after Dallas selected him in the sixth round (No. 217 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft on Saturday.

He didn't hold a pro day until earlier this week, when 24 teams visited the Saints' facility to get a look at Gathers (6-foot-6, 273 pounds). However, the Cowboys worked him out a week before the pro day, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, and were intrigued enough to take a late-round flier on him.

The Cowboys will be hoping he joins a line that includes Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates and Julius Thomas -- former basketball players who became stars at tight end in the NFL -- and he'll get to learn from a great one in 10-time Pro Bowler Jason Witten.

Baylor coach Art Briles tried to persuade Gathers to spend his final season of college eligibility with the school's football team, but Gathers opted to turn pro and has been training since BU was eliminated from the NCAA tournament last month.

Per Rapoport, Gathers worked with free-agent QB Matt Flynn and tight ends coach Art Valero in recent weeks as he prepared to embark on his NFL career.

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