If there is one thing that seems quite certain in 2023, it’s that Dan Quinn’s defense will be among the top units in the NFL. It will be quite the upset if by the end of the 2023 season this isn’t the case. There are many reasons for this, and it starts with the talent and depth.
As currently assembled, the team possesses a nice blend of youth, experience, and overall talent. This combination alone should prove to be quite fruitful during the upcoming season. Just because a unit checks those three boxes, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are deployed in the best way possible.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn certainly isn’t perfect (nobody is), but Quinn does things better than most, including how he deploys the personnel he has and puts them in the best position possible to succeed on gameday. For example, Micah Parsons came into the league as a highly-touted linebacker until we all found out how much of a game-wrecker he was in the pass rushing department. Since entering the league in 2021, Parsons has gradually shifted from linebacker to playing along the line of scrimmage.
Another example of Quinn getting the most out of his players focuses on another name that isn’t talked about as Micah Parsons, but is still quite effective, and that is Jayron Kearse. Kearse was originally a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings back in 2016. Possessing tremendous height of 6’4” makes him among the tallest players at the safety position in the league. Not only does he possess great height, but he is also on the higher end for weight at the position as well. Even at 215 pounds, believe it or not, Kearse still outweighs a couple linebackers who play in the league today.
For the first four years in the league, Kearse was deployed primarily as a special teamer until the Detroit Lions gave him the chance to play a larger role on the team which led to him starting in seven games in 2020. These seven games started was two more than what he had in Minnesota his first four seasons. His play in 2020 was enough for the Cowboys to kick the tires on him ahead of 2021. Since then, Dan Quinn has utilized him as an in the box safety or big nickel, which has proven to be the right recipe for success as Kearse has combined for 178 tackles, and three interceptions the last two seasons with Quinn as his defensive coordinator.
With how much Kearse has blossomed into an elite safety, the price tag has continually been on the rise ahead of his unrestricted free agency status after the 2023 season. The possibility of Kearse re-signing once again is certainly a question mark that we will all know the answer to in due time. Due to the uncertainty of Kearse’s future with America’s Team, it was wise of the front office to bring in a player who has similar size and skills that could lead him to replacing Kearse after the season is out. That player is DeMarvion Overshown from Texas.
Coming out of high school Overshown was rated the number two player in the state of Texas, and the top overall safety prospect in the country in 2018. For the first two years with the Longhorns, he was listed as a safety but would transition over to linebacker for the final three years on campus. When it was all said and done, he was a First-Team All-Big 12 Linebacker in 2022 and proved to be a menace on the gridiron. His versatile skill set due to playing both safety and linebacker have made him an intriguing prospect as he takes the next step in his journey to the NFL.
You can see from this highlight reel what kind of player the Cowboys are getting and how good of a player he was for the Texas Longhorns.
Currently, he is listed on the depth chart as a weak-side linebacker and is the backup for Damone Clark. However, his game in many ways is reminiscent of Jayron Kearse who is also a bit of tweener in size and athletic ability. He might’ve entered the league as a linebacker, but Overshown has big nickel written all over him. The way Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn utilizes Kearse’s skill set to great effectiveness creates confidence that he’ll deploy this year’s third-rounder in a similar way. The plus side to the former Texas Longhorn is that he is already bigger and faster than Kearse which makes many pundits around the Dallas Cowboys universe excited to see number 35 with the star on his helmet.
Given how Kearse’s career has gone since he got to work with Dan Quinn manifests plenty of optimism that DeMarvion Overshown will, sooner rather than later, become that dude who wrecks games and makes it much easier to part ways with the aforementioned Jayron Kearse. The upcoming season will be a big one for both these players and in the case of Overshown, it could be the start of a very nice career in the NFL.