Cowboys Breakout Player No. 1: Donovan Wilson
Last season the Dallas Cowboys saw free agent addition Jayron Kearse breakout in an enormous way. Dan Quinn put the 6-foot-4 safety in a LB/SAF hybrid role and Kearse rewarded him with a Pro Bowl-caliber season.
This season it’s another safety who is primed for breakout and that man is Donovan Wilson. I know, I know. This is the same thing everyone said last year. And the year before. But this time it’s different.
Wilson is a playmaker, plain and simple. Suited to play primarily in the box, Wilson makes an impact against the run and in coverage. His natural instincts, athleticism, and aggressiveness make him an ideal player in Quinn’s system. And with Malik Hooker re-signed to play most of the deep safety assignments, Wilson should be sitting in the perfect opportunity to thrive.
Injuries have always held the Texas A&M product back as a pro. In his three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Dono has only played in 34 games (missing 15), making an unreliable horse to hitch one’s wagon.
But with Hooker handling single high duty, and Kearse playing the hybrid box role, Dono should be able to play on a pitch count, reducing the chance of injury and getting him on the field for snaps of high quality rather than snaps of high quantity.
A free agent after the season, 2022 is huge for Dono. If he can string together an entire season of solid play, he’ll quiet those pesky injury concerns and cash in on the open market. The NFL values 2-way safeties and Dono is that and a proven playmaker.