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Donovan Wilson Makes a Huge Impact in Cowboys Win on Sunday

The Dallas Cowboys have been preaching turnovers for years. They’ve also been looking for safety play that could provide game-changing plays in the back end of the secondary. Well, the Cowboys may have finally found both of those things with the play of Safety Donovan Wilson in their win Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Donovan Wilson has been a player the many in the Cowboys fanbase have been hoping would get more playing time since he recorded three interceptions during his first preseason back in 2019. Unfortunately, however, it would take nearly a year and a half for Wilson to see a full-time role on the Dallas Cowboys defense.

On Sunday against, the Vikings, Wilson was flying around on defense and forced two fumbles that were recovered by the Cowboys.

Early in the game, Wilson was sent on a safety blitz and put a big hit on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. In the process of completing the sack, Wilson took the ball away from Cousins as the two fell to the ground. It was a brutal hit and a heads-up play to take the ball away from the Vikings quarterback.

Later in the game, as Kirk Cousins threw over the middle to Running Back Dalvin Cook, Wilson came from the deep middle and laid a huge hit on Cook after he caught the ball, forcing a fumble that would be recovered by Jaylon Smith.

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Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson having a hell of a day pic.twitter.com/qDGUDfMc2O

Wilson showed off a physicality that has been lacking at times in the back end of the Cowboys defense. Count DeMarcus Lawrence as a believer in Wilson’s ability to bring the thunder from the back end of the defense.

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Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence today following win: “Shoutout to Donovan Wilson, 37, if y’all don’t know… That’s our hit man. Keep throwing that (expletive) across the middle, he gon’ keep hitting. Trust me.”

 

His penchant for playmaking begs the question, how come he couldn’t get on the field sooner?

Both the Jason Garrett and Mike McCarthy coaching regimes were reluctant to get Wilson on the field. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that the former Texas A&M safety began to see the field full-time. Sure, Wilson has his issues in coverage, but it wasn’t like Jeff Heath or Darian Thompson were showing off much ability in coverage situations.

And as the Cowboys continued to preach turnovers, they kept one of the more instinctual players they’ve had in their secondary on the bench for the last year and a half. Be it a failure in a system that leans on veterans or a coaching staff that isn’t sure what they have in a player, both the Rod Marinelli/Kris Richard and Mike Nolan regimes failed to realize the player they have in Donovan Wilson is the player they’ve been looking for all along.

Donovan Wilson now has three sacks on the season and three forced fumbles. Though he’s yet to get an interception, he’s been a force for the Cowboys secondary.

And it would be different if they had a player that was a legitimate difference-maker at safety over the last couple of years, but the guys they have had at the position are just that; guys. From Xavier Woods to Jeff Heath to Darian Thompson, the Cowboys trotted out players who failed to provide the kind of impact that Wilson has since being named a starter.

The two forced fumbles and the physicality in which he plays the position is a welcomed sight. Donovan Wilson, in his second season, is proving to be a playmaker for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s unfortunate that we had to wait until week four of his second season to see him as a starter for the Cowboys.

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. Its abt damn time this coaching staff realize that this young fella can play. He brings that pop to our D that we need, God knows Xavier don’t hv it. We need to find a real FS to go with him so he can roam the secondary and expand his role.

  2. I think with all the injuries we had in the secondary at the beginning of the season, the coaching staff felt more comfortable with the veteran D Thompson out there. I was one of those who thought Wilson should have started from the beginning, as he had flashed some playmaking ability which the cowboys desperately needed. He’s only in his 2nd yr so we got him for 2 more.

    Hopefully we can find a ball hawking centerfielder in free agency or preferably in the draft. Wilson and Diggs are the future but we still need more quality players in the secondary. We have the underperforming CB Brown returning next yr and depending on how Lewis/Awuzie perform the rest of the season I wouldn’t rule out signing one of them on the cheap.

    We knew the secondary was our Achilles heel coming into the season and that has been borne out. I expect we’ll address that with one of our 1st picks in the draft.

  3. Good call Gary b about Wilson starting. I thought Thompson would be better, but did not preclude Wilson from showing his stuff.

    If you heard the call from Jerry to Wilson during the draft, one could hear the fire and emotion inside of Donovan. That fire and emotion, from this late rounder came through, and foretold the possibility of a player that gives 100% all the time when he is on the field. He is showing up bigtime. Good for him and the team!

  4. You could just feel that hit he put on cook through the TV. If he can keep that level of play up, the name hitman will be a good fit for him. But you know once he gets that reputation, referees gonna be watching him like a hawk. Ha

  5. Also beyond the big hits/turnovers he’s created Wilson brings fire and passion, which is something the cowboys have been lacking since their inspirational leader Dak went down. We needed a player with some swag to light a fire under their butt. Thankfully the cowboys finally saw the light and started him.

    And by the way he is relatively inexperienced so he may have some lapses, but the cowboys need to keep him out there so he can learn. I think the positives will outweigh the negatives.

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