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Have We Seen the Best of Donovan Wilson?

For years the Dallas Cowboys defense has lacked a playmaking strong safety who demands attention from opposing offenses. The last true safety Dallas had who made an impact was Roy Williams, who played seven years with the team and was a five-time Pro Bowler.

Starting strong safety Donovan Wilson, who was a sixth-round pick in 2019 by the Cowboys, is now entering his third season and looking to build on his successful 2020 campaign. Even though he only started in 10 games, he contributed significantly as he finished with 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

When former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was still at the helm in 2019, Wilson did not see the field considering the outstanding preseason performances he displayed. If he were allowed to play in more games that season, he would have had the ability to showcase his skills much sooner.

Fans became frustrated when Garrett’s staff kept Wilson in the dog house as former Cowboys safeties Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods struggled to make plays in the secondary. It wasn’t until mid-season in 2020 when Wilson finally got his shot to play at his best.

Last season, Wilson became one of the few bright spots on a 6-10 team that frequently struggled to stop big plays. Wilson may have very well been in discussions for a Pro Bowl selection had he been given the starting job in week 1. If healthy, he will get his opportunity to contribute early on in week 1 when they kick off the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Early in training camp, Wilson has been playing his assignments and making plays that come his way. Nothing has been flashy, but the best thing you can do as a player is to do your job which he’s done so far in these practices.

Jon Machota on Twitter: “Donovan Wilson with the pass breakup in two-minute work / Twitter”

Donovan Wilson with the pass breakup in two-minute work

Jon Machota on Twitter: “Donovan Wilson with the tackle / Twitter”

Donovan Wilson with the tackle

There may be a few critics who are not sold on Wilson’s ability to take the next step to shore up the back end of the secondary since he’s never been a full-time starter. With the free-agent additions of free safeties Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker, these two veterans will allow Wilson to play closer to the line of scrimmage where he was a force.

The best thing to hope for is with the added pieces in the secondary Wilson can use his talents and make plays. Otherwise, Wilson and the defense will struggle much like they did last season.

Now that Wilson will get his first chance to become a full-time starter, we’ll be able to witness if Wilson can take his game up a notch or last season was as good as it gets.

What do you think?


Written by Alec Cash

I am a 24-year-old Cowbys Content Creator with exceptional skills in Published Writing, Public Speaking and Podcasting. Sports Writer Covering the Dallas Cowboys for Inside The Star.


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  1. When given an opportunity, whether it was preseason or regular season all Wilson has done is ball out. You’re right, he’s not a FS. What he is, is the best hard hitting, in the box, SS Dallas has had since Roy Williams was making pro bowls. What indication is there that what he has shown so far isn’t sustainable or that given more opportunities won’t be better? Hello wet blanket!!

  2. Another example of the cowboys not developing or holding back a secondary player. Couldn’t decide where to play B Jones early in his career and doing the same with CB Robinson. Wilson should have started a year earlier. He’s a playmaker who brings a much needed swagger to the secondary. No coincidence the defense turned a corner when he was inserted into the lineup.

  3. Simply put … even if we’re seeing Wilson at his absolute peak, it’s more than sufficient. Over the course of additional playing time, his numbers (at this rate of accumulation) would be near upper-tier.

  4. Wierd I just read an article that said Wilson showed up to camp after an “unfocused off season ” and he was clearly doing poorly in camp. It’s crazy how different two articles can be about a player.

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