The Dallas Cowboys are one game away from closing out the month of December. Looking 4-0 dead in the eye this month, Dallas hopes to right the wrongs of the month prior and position themselves properly for the closing weeks of January.
To do so they have to dig deep into their roster and pull from their stash of players on IR. Normally this wouldn’t be something to celebrate, but the Cowboys are activating some pretty resourceful players who have been know to be critical playmakers.
The return of Maurice Canady and Donovan Wilson give the Dallas Cowboys playmakers at a time when they need it.
With injuries and COVID striking rosters across the league, everyone in the NFL is hurting in some regard these days. But not everyone has players like Donovan Wilson and Maurice Canady waiting on standby.
For as loaded as the Dallas Cowboys are at safety (Malik Hooker, Damontae Kazee, Jayron Kearse) the best of the bunch, in regard to big plays, may actually be Donovan Wilson. The playmaking safety from Texas A&M has a knack for the ball and has been a weapon over the years in a variety of roles.
The primary issue for Wilson, or “Dono,” has been his inability to stay healthy. Dono has only been healthy for six games this season and over the course of his nearly 3-season career he’s only played 31 games. He may not be the safety you want to rely on each week to be available, but he’s a great extra safety and/or fill-in and that’s exactly what he’ll be this week.
Malik Hooker, the man Wilson is essentially replacing, is coming off his best game as a Cowboy. But the positive COVID test puts his comeback on hold this week and cracks the door for Wilson. While Wilson is far from ever pushing Kearse for starting snaps (Kearse was a bona fide Pro Bowl snub), he’s premium player when healthy and able to play both safety spots as well as linebacker.
Joining Dono on the Cowboys Active List is Maurice Canady. As some may remember, Canady, signed in the offseason of 2020, sat out his first season in Dallas because of COVID concerns. Challenging for a spot this year he was a regular playmaker in training camp, playing primarily in the slot as an aggressive alternative to starting slot cornerback, Jourdan Lewis.
With Lewis out on the COVID list, Canady was activated. Practicing for the first time since October 17, Canady hopes to pick up where he left off in training camp. Standing 6-foot-1, Canady is a different kind of CB. But his strong tackling and ability to cover longer and more physical pass-catchers from inside is a valuable trait.
Also expected to play a part in replacing Lewis is rookie second rounder Kelvin Joseph. Joseph has had a hard time seeing the field this season and Dallas would love to get the rookie some snaps before the postseason begins. This is a pretty opportune time.
Donovan Wilson and Maurice Canady were two players I had penciled in as starters at one point in training camp. They are strong replacements at a time strong replacements are seemingly impossible to find.
Who will get more snaps down the stretch?