There’s been a lot of talk about the infusion of talent on the Dallas Cowboys roster. The additions of veterans Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are coming in to bolster the defense. Plus rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs are replacing players lost in free agency.
All that talk is bound to make current players on the Cowboys roster feel overlooked and undervalued. Those are the players that will become the wildcards on this team heading into training camp. Players who could elevate their games and push for roster spots and more playing time on this team.
Here are three players that fit that description that are currently on the roster.
Safety - Donovan Wilson
Wilson has been an afterthought after his sixth-round selection in 2019 when fans were clamoring for the Cowboys to take a safety in the second round. Instead, they chose to take a defensive tackle thanks in part to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. The Cowboys would later take Wilson, and early in OTA’s, Wilson was making a name for himself as a smart defender who was able to pick up the defense quickly and was being used in the slot and at safety during practice. Then, when the lights came on and the Cowboys took the field during the preseason, Wilson performed.
Wilson was able to show that he had a knack for being able to read the quarterback’s eyes and breaking on the ball to make a play. Out of the four games the Cowboys played, Wilson was able to come up with three interceptions. Then, all of a sudden, once the preseason was over, Wilson was nowhere to be found. Used mainly on special teams, the old coaching staff’s propensity for sticking with “their guys”. Well, those coaches are gone and the new coaching staff is looking for players that have a nose for the ball and the ability to create turnovers. Something Wilson showed he could do in preseason.
Defensive End - Joe Jackson
Jackson is truly the forgotten man on the Cowboys roster, overshadowed by players like DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn (last year), and even the suspended Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith are getting more attention. The 2019 sixth-round pick was working to make the roster and was active in five games last season, but never started or really got the chance to make a statement. Jackson has the skill-set to be a good pass rusher in the NFL when he’s given the chance.
For now, people are going have to look at his Miami game footage to see just how good he has performed. Jackson has shown the ability to get to the quarterback using power. Jackson is also good against the run; he has the ability to stand up and shed would be blockers and take down the ball carrier. If given the chance, Jackson could be a useful defensive end in short yardage and as a rotational player. Depending on how defensive coordinator Mike Nolan wants to use his pass rushers, Jackson should have a chance to make the team.
Wide Receiver - Cedrick Wilson
Last season Wilson was able to get on the field after missing the 2018 season with a shoulder injury. He made the most of that time on the field, unfortunately it was sparingly, and he would later have his season ended with a knee injury late in the season. While on the field, though, Wilson compiled was able to show a knack for making catches in traffic and getting open with crisp route running.
That route running is what could help him makes this roster under Mike McCarthy whose system calls for receivers who are able to create space. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb all have that ability, but McCarty is going to need a fourth and fifth receiver that can do the same. Devin Smith has speed to help him make the roster, but Wilson is going to have to lean on his routes to make an impression on McCarthy. If he is able to do that, then he stands a chance to make the roster and could get some serious on-the-field action this season.
If you had to pick a wildcard or wildcards to make some noise on this team who would they be?