There is no question this Dallas Cowboys defense is special. Since Dan Quinn has taken over as defensive coordinator heading into last season, the team has been one of the best on defense across the entire NFL. Having one of the best defensive players across the league in edge rusher Micah Parsons, along with star cornerback Trevon Diggs, is the most obvious reason why. However there are plenty of impactful players across the defense that have made a massive improvement since Quinn took over as defensive coordinator. Safety Donovan Wilson is a prime example of this.
Wilson was drafted by the Cowboys with the 213th pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft. After playing his college career at Texas A&M, the safety played mostly just special teams his rookie year in Dallas, recording three tackles. Wilson found his footing as a safety on the field in the 2020 season, making some key plays throughout the season. While Wilson entered the 2021 season as the starting strong safety in Dallas, he missed time due to shoulder and chest injuries, and only played nine games throughout the entire season.
Wilson is an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason, and while he has just a base salary of $965,000 in 2021, it is safe to say he will be demanding a valuable contract in the offseason. This is largely due to his incredible 2022 season, having one of the better seasons at safety for the Cowboys in a long time. Throughout 13 games this season, Wilson has 85 total tackles, four sacks, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.
Wilson’s best trait is his ability to blitz the quarterback and make consistent open-field tackles. He is an incredibly consistent piece to this defense, and Quinn has been able to use him in defensive schemes by placing him all around the field.
Dan Quinn was out looking to deliver punishment on— Jordan Silveira (@JordanTSilveira) September 28, 2022
the #Giants Monday night.
This "truck" stunt is just nasty along with sending Donovan Wilson as the overhang blitz which Myarick completely fails to ID.
Poor Neal & Feliciano realize the game only once it's too late.#Cowboys pic.twitter.com/gRwLN6fowy
A trait that is really impressive with Wilson is his ability to create takeaways for the defense. He has a knack of always being around the football, and forces mistakes by the opposing team’s offense.
Cowboys S Donovan Wilson forced the fumble of Dameon Pierce. Trevon Diggs returned it 17 yards after definitely netting a whole lot more running in circlespic.twitter.com/2314TXkhQJ— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) December 11, 2022
The front office should make Wilson a priority to retain long-term, as he has become one of the more valuable players on the Cowboys team. Wilson should be in consideration for the Pro Bowl this season with the way he has performed for the Dallas Cowboys defense.