Even though the Dallas Cowboys have a top-10 defense, they have trouble producing turnovers, but they may have a new player that can help them do just that.
The Dallas Cowboys have been waiting patiently for several years to say they have a top-10 defense. Not to long ago, mentioning the Cowboys and defense in the same sentence were wishful thinking at best and an oxymoron at worse.
Basically, the Cowboys and defense were beyond mutually exclusive.
The two just could not co-exist together.
But after several years of having a mediocre defense at best, the Cowboys now boost one of the best pass rushers in the league in Demarcus Lawrence, has the talented linebacking duo of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, and has an up and coming, young secondary with great potential to be Pro Bowlers.
With all of those studs on defense, this uber-talented bunch lacks in creating turnovers and its the only major asterisk on this team’s resume.
And Besides the outstanding play of rookie running back Tony Pollard, there is another rookie on this team that is turning heads and he happens to play on the defense.
This preseason has produced a player that can help the defense in the turnover department. And based off of his sensational play making abilities, it appears the defense has found a ball-hawking free safety in rookie Donovan Wilson.
I don’t care if it’s preseason. I don’t care if Wilson is playing against men who will not make team. I don’t even care that Wilson was facing vanilla offenses. What I have seen in Wilson is a defensive back who has a nose for the ball and forces turnovers. Period.
Wilson displayed his athleticism and instincts when he picked off an interception against the Houston Texans and tapped his toes in bounds to secure the pick. It was a beauty because Wilson read the play perfectly and followed the ball like an eagle flying down on its prey.
Wilson has brought an excitement to the secondary because it truly needs a player with ball-hawking capabilities. And when that player is a free safety its an added bonus to the defensive backfield.
For those that are counting, Wilson has been targeted three times this preseason and has intercepted two of those passes. Heck, Wilson was instrumental in fellow teammate C.J. Goodwin intercepting a pass in that same game against the Texans.
In fact, PFF has Wilson rated as the number one rookie this preseason. Let’s be honest here. When was the last time you saw a Dallas defensive back come in with ball-hawking skills? I’ll wait for your response. Because it has happened in a very long time.
A player of Wilson’s caliber won’t sit on the bench and learn like a true rookie. I fully expect Wilson to challenge starting safety Jeff Heath and maybe George IIoka. This is nothing new for Wilson because he made similar plays in college at Texas A&M.
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Wilson tallied eight interceptions in three years at A&M, 21.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, four forced fumbles, and recovered two fumbles. Wilson brings a ball-hawking swag to a secondary desperate for it.
Dallas defense ranked 20th in takeaways and ranked ninth out of the playoff teams in 2018. In comparison, the New England Patriots and Los Angles Rams had a total of 58 takeaways last season (one reason why they made it to the Super Bowl). That’s a sign Dallas’ defense needs to up the ante in the “takeaway” department to at least play in a Super Bowl.
If Wilson is everything being advertised, his ball-hawking skills will only make the defense better because now the corners can take more chances and jump routes, and Wilson’s ability to play the deep third is a luxury because he can take away a deep threat like the Philadelphia Eagles Desean Jackson.
Sidenote: It would be nice to see a fearsome Dallas defense that can sack the quarterback and create a fist full of turnovers every Sunday afternoon.
Plus, a player like Wilson will make the other defensive backs better because of sheer competition. If you think Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis want to be outshined by a rookie, then you’re in for a rude awakening.
Further, Wilson ball-hawking skills will give Dallas’ offense more opportunties to score points with a shorter field. That’s a premium like not other.
And boys and girls that is one benefit of having a ball-hawking free safety.
- Published on 08/29/2019 at 11:00 AM
- Last updated at 08/29/2019 at 10:57 AM