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Cowboys Roster: What Does Dallas Have In Damien Wilson?

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Roster: What Does Dallas Have In Damien Wilson?

As Dallas Cowboys fans, we have fell accustomed to forgetting about the team's late round draft selections. While the team has consistently hit in the top rounds, the later rounds have left us with the likes of J.J Wilcox, Joseph Randle and Devin Street.

However, this past draft, the 127th overall pick left us with Minnesota linebacker Damien Wilson - who drew plenty of hype throughout training camp.

Dan Turner on Twitter

Damien Wilson is having a great training camp. Deservedly seeing significant time with the 1s. Finds the ball and bursts to it in run D

Pat Doney on Twitter

Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson has impressed during training camp... Great play on 3rd & short to force a Chargers punt.

The hype around Wilson led fans to believe that the Cowboys were in good position at linebacker while Rolando McClain served his initial four game suspension to start the season. Yet, in this stretch through the first three weeks of the season, Wilson saw just 2 defensive snaps.

The following week in New Orleans, Wilson saw extended time in the final game Dallas played without McClain. While he took 30 snaps in total, the only one fans and coaches will remember is this one:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

https://t.co/rwqYxhYTjM

While it is easy to blame Wilson for this blown coverage that leads to an easy game-winning touchdown, it was not completely his fault. On the previously play, Andrew Gachkar was ran off the field with an injury. This means, with the Saints operating quickly, that Wilson was put on the field late and Dallas got stuck in their base look.

Just take a look at all this confusion just moments before the snap on the defensive side of the ball, and then decide if all the blame should go on #57.

Cowboys Blog - Draft Questions: What do the Cowboys have in Damien Wilson?

Apparently this play was damaging enough for Wilson not to see a single snap defensively the rest of the season. His rookie campaign that started with so much promise ended with 32 snaps, 30 of which came in one week 4 game.

I bring all of this up because, while I have been one of the biggest advocates for the Cowboys drafting Myles Jack in the upcoming first round, it's important to remember that the team should still have something exciting in Damien Wilson.

While drafting Jack would already not be considered a major need based pick, Wilson may give them enough to consider addressing other areas of the defense - such as the front with Joey Bosa or secondary with Jalen Ramsey.

Here is just a little bit of what Wilson can do, from his final collegiate season:

LB Damien Wilson: 2014 Gopher Football Highlights

http://www.GopherSports.com Watch the best plays from Minnesota Gopher linebacker Damien Wilson from the 2014 college football season.

If Wilson pans out, the Cowboys 2015 draft class may be one of their most complete in years. Byron Jones has all the makings of a future star, while Randy Gregory has also shown that potential in college and in limited time during this season.

Should both players take a step up next year along with Wilson, and if the Cowboys look to start third round pick Chaz Green at any point, the team's first four selections from 2015 would all be very nice additions.

Taking this momentum into the upcoming 2016 draft will be pivotal, as the Cowboys have all the pieces to put together another solid draft and build a nucleus of young talent for years to come.


Upon Further Review on WMSCRadio.com

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Roster: What Does Dallas Have In Damien Wilson?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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4 Comments
  • RJ Ochoa

    Those TC days feel like so long ago…

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

    • Bryson Treece

      Yes they do, RJ. I still think Wilson needs an honest shot here. He's got solid potential.

  • RJ Ochoa

    Those TC days feel like so long ago…

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    Yeah, couldn't find much film on him but you see from the highlights in the post just how much of an impact he can make for a defense. Very active all over the field. Let's get him some reps!

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BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

Sean Martin

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Cowboys 2016 Draft Class: Who Will Be The Stand Out In 2017?
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.

Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.

Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.

A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.

This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.

Jason Witten's Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.

Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.

Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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David Irving to be Present at Dallas Cowboys Minicamp

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

David Irving has been a notable name throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, for both on the field and off the field headlines. First, his RFA tender had fans and analysts wondering just what the Cowboys would do with him. Many, myself included, thought placing anything lower than a first-round tender on the stud defensive tackle would mean he was collecting sacks for someone else in 2018.

Thankfully, the Dallas Cowboys' gamble paid off and they were able to save some money by only having the second-round tender applied to 2018.

Then came the accusation of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, catching us off-guard just before OTAs began in May. Which was then retracted not long after the initial report.

After all of that had quieted down, most of the talk revolved around David Irving not being in shape for OTAs. Not having been around for much of the offseason work the last several weeks before OTAs would keep Irving from working out.

He's had a lot going on in his life lately away from the game of football, and understandably so. As a father to a young child, I can see how you'd get distracted from your job when family stuff comes into play that affects the well-being of your child.

On the football side of things, at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Today, it's being reported that David Irving will in fact be present for this week's mandatory minicamp.

Brandon George on Twitter

Also, the Cowboys expect DL David Irving to participate in the 3-day mandatory minicamp that begins today at The Star, a source said. The Cowboys could have both Irving and RG Zack Martin back on the practice field if Martin's contract extension gets finalized this morning.

You may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal? Irving isn't Aaron Donald."

Well, you're mostly right.

Perhaps next to Donald, David Irving was the most disruptive interior player in the NFL last season. David Irving had seven sacks in the eight games he played in.

Read that again. Seven sacks in eight games. That would be 14 sacks over the course of the season if that pace were to continue to play out.

Aaron Donald had 11 sacks in 2017.

Pro Football Focus rated David Irving as its third best pass rusher among interior defensive linemen.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Dominant interior defenders.

To go along with Irving's seven sacks in eight games -- every time I read that I'm floored -- he recorded six passes defended. That was good for second in the NFL at the defensive tackle position and was second on the Dallas Cowboys.

Again, in only eight games played.

Even if you were to pace out his tackle numbers over 16 games, they aren't very spectacular -- 26 solo and 18 assisted -- but he'd still finish in the top 30 among defensive tackles.

Only two other players in the NFL had seven or more sacks and six or more pass breakups; New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan and Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap. Both of those guys played in all 16 games and, while I hate to keep bringing this up, Irving only played in eight.

He's an elite interior defender who has only gotten better since joining Rod Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys.

If he's able to get his personal life in order -- and that most assuredly comes first -- he's going to be a wrecking ball for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line.

Getting Zack Martin's contract extension completed was probably the most important task of the summer, but getting David Irving back into the practice fold is a close second.

With him and DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a tremendous 2017, the sky is the limit for those two in 2018.

With all the improvement that was made on the defensive side of the ball, I can't help but think of the sign that Greg Hardy paid for several years ago.

"Sacks Comin'."



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