One of the few bright spots for the Dallas Cowboys lately has been the emergence of Donovan Wilson as a play-making starter at safety. But a groin injury suffered in the Thanksgiving game is still bothering Wilson and has kept him out of practices all week, leaving his status “questionable” for Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Wilson began starting in Week 5 after veteran Darian Thompson failed to impress with his opportunity. This came after Dallas hoped to upgrade by signing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency but then the former Pro Bowler didn’t even make it past final cuts.
Fans have been waiting to see Donovan get more opportunities since the 2019 preseason. As a 6th-round rookie Wilson was one of the standout performers that August and may have played that season if not for an ankle injury.
Now Wilson is delivering on that promise. He helped force two turnovers in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings that probably made the difference in Dallas’ victory.
If Donovan can’t go this week against Baltimore then it could be a huge loss for the Cowboys defense. While it would hurt them any week, his presence was going to be especially useful against Lamar Jackson.
Along with the forced fumbles Wilson has been making highlights for big hits in the open field. That reputation can go a long way to making receivers think twice about laying out for a catch, or a quarterback’s decision to tuck it and run.
Wilson’s absence would also pull Darian Thompson back on the field. While he has value in a reserve role with position flexibility, Thompson showed major liabilities in coverage earlier this season and should never be a full-time player.
True, Donovan Wilson has given up big plays this year as well. But he also has the capability of making some. The Cowboys have to have more balance in that area if they ever want to win again this season.
Dallas is still in the hunt for the NFC East title and a playoff spot with five games left to go. Based on how the first 11 weeks of the season have gone they will need Wilson on the field to make that happen.
Hopefully, Donovan Wilson can get back for Tuesday night and remain in the lineup the reast of 2020.