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Could S Donovan Wilson Start in 2020 Under Maurice Linguist?

The Dallas Cowboys have gotten really good at finding defensive back talent in the later rounds of the draft over the last several years. Kavon Frazier (2016), Anthony Brown (2016), and Xavier Woods (2017) were all drafted in the sixth round and each have made contributions since coming into the league. Brown and Woods have played a lot of snaps for the Dallas Cowboys.

In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys continued that sixth-round defensive back trend when they selected  Safety Donovan Wilson out of Texas A&M. Much like the sixth round selections before him, the pick wasn’t made with a lot of fanfare, however, when Donovan Wilson received opportunities in training camp and the preseason, he showed the ability to make big plays in the secondary.

He was a standout of training camp. In the four preseason games the Cowboys played, Wilson recorded three interceptions. Since his time with the Aggies, Wilson has shown an ability to create turnovers.

Wilson didn’t get many opportunities in 2019 under the Jason Garrett regime. That should come as no surprise, however, as rookies generally had a difficult time breaking into games unless there were injuries or they were rookies selected with premium draft capital.

Heading into his second season and with a new coaching staff, Wilson may have a renewed opportunity with the Dallas Cowboys. Especially considering one of his coaches from Texas A&M is joining the Cowboys defensive staff; Maurice Linguist.

Linguist coached at Texas A&M in 2018 and 2019, overlapping with Wilson in 2018. Though Linguist coached the cornerback group for the Aggies, he had a relationship with Donovan Wilson during their time there.

A couple weeks ago, Linguist got an opportunity to meet with reporters for the first time and was asked about his relationship with Donovan Wilson. Though he didn’t coach Wilson directly, Linguist said, “I love that kid. He’s a good person.”

In the interview, he talked about the importance of building relationships and trust with his players. Frankly, that’s something Donovan Wilson already has a head start on.

Now in his second season in the NFL with a new, yet somewhat familiar, coaching staff, Wilson has a grand opportunity to earn a significant role and could start for the Dallas Cowboys alongside fellow sixth-round pick Xavier Woods. Those two have the versatility and flexibility to be used in multiple and interchangeable ways in the secondary for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. With the preseason he had, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have received more opportunities during the year ESPECIALLY when heath got hurt and xavier woods was banged up. I hope this doesn’t deter them from taking Mckinney or deplut though.

  2. I think the article actually understated the case. In preseason, Wilson graded out, not only as the top-rated safety — he graded out as THE TOP-RATED ROOKIE, and not only for the Dallas Cowboys, but THE ENTIRE NFL. This bears repeating: The Cowboys had THE TOP-RATED ROOKIE IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE on their roster — at a position (safety) where they sorely needed help, and whose specialty (takeaways) was one they were sorely lacking — and they played him only one snap through all of last season. And then they wondered why their defense sucked.

    If this kid doesn’t get a solid chance this season, Jerry should fire this whole coaching staff, too.

  3. Wilson has good size, he hits hard and finds the ball. He’s play maker. Given the chance, I think he will make plays and provide turnovers. Get him on the field.

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