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Donovan Wilson has a Chance to Impress with Kavon Frazier Setback

Matthew Lenix



Donovan Wilson has a chance to impress with Kavon Frazier setback

It was clear the safety position was one of importance for the Cowboys heading into the 2019 NFL draft. The flashy picks of Juan Thornhill and Taylor Rapp were there for the taking in round two, but the organization instead opted to beef up the defensive line by selecting UCF's Trysten Hill. Better late than never, in round six the Cowboys picked Texas A&M safety, Donovan Wilson.

You have to take advantage of every opportunity as they present themselves in the NFL, and Wilson just recently received a huge one.

Fellow safety Kavon Frazier will be sidelined for the next few weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee. This setback could see him rehabbing and resting until training camp in late July, and missing the upcoming mandatory mini-camp. This comes at a not so ideal time for Frazier with this season being a contract year and having not yet proven himself on a consistent basis that he's anything more than a solid backup and special teams player. He's ultra-competitive and has spent time at both safety spots in his first three years, but potential only gets you so far, you have to show and prove when called upon.

With this being said, now the door is wide open for Wilson. He has the position flex that is much salivated over by Jason Garrett and the coaching staff. In addition to playing safety, he spent a lot of time at nickel corner at Texas A&M as well. He can play down in the box versus the run just about as well as any safety entering the league this season, as evident by his 21.5 tackles for loss in college. Sprinkle in eight interceptions and you can see why the Cowboys turned in his draft card in the sixth round.

This won't be an easy climb up the mountain for Wilson, though, especially in a safety room packed with bodies. Jeff Heath is the starter, for now, much to the dismay of Cowboys fans who have been frustrated with his inconsistency in coverage. His ability to head hunt, and be an excellent special teams player, has allowed the often maligned six-year pro to keep potential heirs to his strong safety throne at bay.

George Iloka was signed during free agency as a potential upgrade from Heath, although the first few weeks of OTA's (Organized Team Activities) hasn't shown that with him still being second on the depth chart, even though that isn't set in stone at this point. Nonetheless, there's no substitute for experience, a major feather in his cap that he has over Wilson. Not only is a potential starting position on the line, but a spot on the 53 man roster as well. This gives the seven-year veteran all the incentive to keep the rookie on the sidelines.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli already sees something in his new piece of clay waiting to be molded.

"He's got a chance to be a very physical presence, but right now, it's about, 'Where do I line up? What's my assignment? Where do I look?'

"Our mindset is to get him prepared to know what the movement is, the skill is, and what the drills and assignments are. You're investing a lot of money in these guys. I have to find ways--can he do what I want him to do," Marinelli said.

Wilson's intangibles are a big reason that I think he'll seize this opportunity. He was named Defensive Captain in 2018 and got the calls directly from the Aggies defensive coordinator. You want effort, desire, and competitiveness? Well, he has that too, as he was the recipient of the Aggie Heart Award given to the player that exhibits said qualities. While this doesn't guarantee him anything on the pro level, however, it is a good starting point going forward.

Donovan Wilson should attack this situation head-on. Heath hasn't shown the regular consistency to instill full confidence in his abilities. Iloka is only on a one year deal, essentially making him a short term rather than a permanent answer at the position. And now, Kavon Frazier won't even see the field until training camp more than likely.

This makes mandatory mini-camp this week that much more important for the youngster. The only thing he's lacking is simply the reps to develop and reach his ceiling. If Donovan Wilson wants to follow in the footsteps of another teammate Xavier Woods as a sixth-round steal, he has to make every snap count.


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Cowboys’ Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

John Williams



Cowboys' Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

With only two preseason games remaining, opportunities to make a statement are growing thin. The Dallas Cowboys have very few spots on the roster available, especially at the tight end position where Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz appear to have the depth chart locked down. The problem is, Jarwin and Schultz have been dealing with injuries and missed the second preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and probably won't play against the Houston Texans tonight.

Enter Marcus Lucas.

Marcus Lucas hasn't been a member of the Dallas Cowboys for very long, but he's already made an impact.

In his first preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys, Lucas caught four passes on four targets for 20 yards. His receptions went for two, seven, five, and six yards for an average of five yards per reception. He did have a holding penalty that cost the Dallas Cowboys 10 yards on a first down play that didn't go anywhere anyway.

Though Lucas has bounced around NFL practice squads, he's never really found a home. After going undrafted in 2014, Lucas was signed by the Carolina Panthers in May of that year but wasn't able to stick on the 53-man roster and was released and placed on the practice squad. In 2015, he was on the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears practice squads. In 2016, the Panthers brought him back in the summer after the Bears released him from their 90-man roster. That September after cut-down day, the Seattle Seahawks signed Lucas to their practice squad where he spent all of 2016. From 2017 to the end of 2018, Lucas spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, the Seattle Seahawks again, and the San Francisco 49ers. He was with the 49ers in 2019 before joining the Dallas Cowboys about two weeks ago and will get an extended run in these final two preseason games.

At Thursday's practice, Lucas was the only tight end available with Jason Witten getting a rest day and Jarwin, Schultz, and fellow Tight End Cody McElroy dealing with injuries.

Todd Archer on Twitter

With Jason Witten getting a day of rest, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Codey McElroy injured, the Cowboys have one tight end practicing today: Marcus Lucas, who has been with the team for about two weeks.

It's possible that Lucas may get an extended amount of playing time tonight with an opportunity to show the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL that he's ready to land on a 53-man roster. With likely only Jason Witten being the only other tight end active for the game against the Houston Texans, Lucas will get a lot of playing time. If his last preseason exposure is any indication, he'll get the chance to display his receiving prowess.

At 27, Lucas likely has few opportunities left to make his mark for an NFL franchise. On a team that proclaims the "next man up" as a battle cry, after Witten, Lucas is the next man up for tonight and depending on his performance could make the Dallas Cowboys front office or another front office around the league take notice.

Depending on the long-term health of the Dallas Cowboys' tight end position, Lucas may find his path to a roster spot simply dependent upon the health of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. Though a job may not come with the Dallas Cowboys, tonight is an extremely important audition for his next suitor. How he performs tonight could land Marcus Lucas a job after the Dallas Cowboys trim the roster to 53 next week.

They say "preseason games don't matter," but to Marcus Lucas, this might be the most important game of his career.

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REPORT: Signs Point to Elliott, Cowboys Finalizing Contract Extension

Jess Haynie



Will No Preseason Work Hurt Ezekiel Elliott's Early Season Production?

Our long Cowboys National nightmare may close to ending. According to Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan, there's news coming in that points to Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys soon reaching an agreement and ending Zeke's holdout.

The following was just tweeted this morning from Turner's account:

Kevin Turner on Twitter

BREAKING: Hello, talented media personality KT here, same source tells me Zeke is booked to return from Cabo tomorrow. Another source tells @Shippyfunsports the Cowboys and Zeke were in contact late last night, and that a deal could come together over the weekend. @1053thefan

We had just heard yesterday that Dallas offered Zeke a deal that would make him the second-highest paid RB in football behind Todd Gurley. Was that enough to get Elliott to sign, or perhaps the basis that Zeke's team used to make a final counteroffer which Dallas agreed to?

Hopefully we'll find out all those details very soon. For now, we can just take hope in these signs of light at the end of this contract dispute tunnel.

The Cowboys aren't the same team without Ezekiel Elliott. With so much at stake in this 2019 season, it's time to get this deal done and get ready to win.

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Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL’s Second Highest-Paid RB

Matthew Lenix



Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL's Second Highest-Paid RB

Negotiations are picking up in Dallas. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Dallas Cowboys have offered All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott a new contract that would make him the second-highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Ed Werder on Twitter

Sources: The most recent offer in negotiations between holdout Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys came from the team. Elliott has been offered a contract making him one of the NFL's 2 highest-paid RB. That would suggest team offering more than LeVeon Bell and less than Todd Gurley.

This would put Elliott just below Todd Gurley's four-year 60 million dollar deal and just ahead of Le'Veon Bell's four-year 52.5 million dollar deal. He's currently set to make 3.9 million in 2019 under his current contract. Deadlines make deals and it appears the Cowboys understand this. More to come.

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