There’s a safety on the Dallas Cowboys roster that the team drafted in the sixth round who has recently been making a lot of headlines as the regular season approaches.
While this is definitely true for Xavier Woods, it’s also true for rookie Donovan Wilson. The Cowboys may have done it again.
Dallas has refused to invest legitimate resources (legitimate being a top pick) in recent years at the safety position (although Byron Jones is an arguable case) and has instead elected to try to figure it out the old-fashioned way. This philosophy led them to Woods and has now led them to what looks like could be a future starter for them in Wilson.
Wilson has yet to even play in the regular season for the Cowboys yet the conversation with him has shifted from “he’s probably going to make the roster, right?” all the way to “how long is it until he’s starting?”. Sometimes, it can happen that fast.
Donovan Wilson can’t stop making plays
The latest instance of Wilson’s ascension to greatness (we’re having fun, relax everyone!) came on Saturday night against the Houston Texans. What looked like an errant pass become a moment none of us will ever forget when Wilson came flying through the air for an incredible interception.
Kris Richard joined the Cowboys coaching staff last year but the team didn’t draft a safety. That means that Wilson is the first one that he was part of the entire process in acquiring (he obviously inherited Woods, Kavon Frazier, and Jeff Heath) and the effect he’s having on him is being felt pretty immediately.
Woods is without question the free safety of the future for the team but that does leave one safety spot open. As much as Jeff Heath is the GOAT, it’s not as if he’s got the strong safety spot locked up beyond a shadow of a doubt, there’s a legitimate chance that Wilson is able to pry some serious time away from him this season.
Donovan Wilson has already crossed one checkpoint on his young career in that he’s made George Iloka expendable. The free agent acquisition by the Cowboys hasn’t been a factor for much of anything through camp and the preseason, and in competitions like that things are always going to defer to the young, cheap, and locked-up-for-a-while rookie over a veteran with a less team-friendly contract (from a time perspective). Having already conquered Iloka, what’s next for Wilson?
Safety has been a huge question mark for the Dallas Cowboys for a long time, and while it’s still too early to say that all of those concerns have been answered, it is indeed fair to point out that Donovan Wilson has us feeling optimistic. The sixth round might just be where the Cowboys find safeties, perhaps if/when Wilson is starting next to Woods one day we can call it the sixth-round safety duo.