One of the toughest cuts the Dallas Cowboys made in 2018 was Cornerback Donovan Olumba. The undrafted rookie was one of their preseason standouts, and many thought he could force his way onto the 53-man roster. But the Cowboys ultimately released him and carried him all of last year on the practice squad.
Olumba returns in 2019 with more experience and physical development. His 6’2″ frame and physical playing style fit the mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in a corner. With how close he was last season, Donovan should be a contender once again to make the team.
In 2018 the Cowboys only kept four cornerbacks for the initial 53-man roster. Those same four players are all back: Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis. If Dallas goes short at CB again, then it may not matter what Olumba or anyone else does.
However, there has been discussion that Jourdan Lewis could be traded at some point before Week One. That would at least open one roster spot, and maybe two depending on numbers throughout the roster.
Donovan Olumba needs some kind of opening to even have a chance at making the team, but he will also have to fight off some new competition.
In April, Dallas spent a fifth-round pick to acquire CB Michael Jackson from Miami. They also signed undrafted rookie Chris Westry, whose listed height of 6’4″ is an immediate attention grabber.
The Cowboys also have veteran C.J. Goodwin and Treston Decoud, a 2017 fifth-round pick by Houston, currently in the mix at cornerback. Both were with the team in limited roles last season.
As a rookie in 2018, Donovan Olumba was able to push past a drafted player, Marquez White, and a solid prospect in Duke Thomas to earn a spot on the practice squad. Olumba’s strong play was one reason why Dallas was willing to trade away Charvarius Ward, who was another standout performer for them.
Olumba should be even smarter and stronger now, but his competition my also be stiffer. And if the Cowboys wind up keeping Jourdan Lewis and again only going with four cornerbacks, the conversation may be moot.
But like so many who will be competing at the Cowboys’ 2019 Training Camp, Donovan Olumba is just hoping for a way in. He’s been close already, and perhaps this season will see him push through onto the 53-man roster.