When the Dallas Cowboys selected DeMarvion Overshown with the 90th pick in the draft, many fans didn’t know what to expect. The Texas product had a reputation as one of the most talented linebackers in the draft.
Yet, Overshown slipped on many draft boards because his best NFL position and/or role wasn’t as clear as some would like. The converted safety thrives in coverage and plays comfortably in space. But he struggles to get off blocks and doesn’t always fulfill assignments in traffic.
The Dallas Cowboys have a plan for rookie linebacker DeMarvion Overshown.
With a high waist, good explosion, and decent bend, Overshown could be seen as a pass rusher off the edge. But at just 229 pounds , his opportunities are limited to just spot duty in this role.
With his loose hips and fluid movement in coverage, he could project as a box coverman (a category of safety). But with so many better legit safety options on the Dallas Cowboys roster already, he’d likely fall behind Jayron Kearse, Donovan Wilson and even Israel Mukuamu in the hierarchy.
All things considered, Overshown’s best role is that of off-ball linebacker. And Will McClay confirmed as much when he spoke to the media after the draft:
"“WILL linebacker type,” McClay said when asked of Overshown’s position on the defense. “One of the things you look for is finding guys who can match up athletically with tight ends and receivers.”"
Overshown enters the competition as arguably the best coverage linebacker on the roster. While third year LB Jabril Cox projects better based on scouting, he has yet to apply any of his scouted traits as a pro.
Overshown joins a top-heavy unit in Dallas. Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark are the clear leaders of the unit and the Dallas Cowboys rarely play three linebackers at a time (they prefer three safeties).
There are a couple factors working in Overshown’s favor:
- LB is a punishing position and LB3 will likely log as many snaps as LB1 and LB2.
- Dan Quinn thinks of unique ways to get good players on the field
If Overshown plays well enough, Dan Quinn will get him on the field. He could be a subpackage player who plays primarily on passing downs or just in relief of the top two players. LVE and Clark are going to take punishment and the Cowboys need a strong third option to rotate in.
Chances are a little patience will be required. Overshown is relatively raw as a WILL prospect and Quinn will probably keep things simple for the rookie at the start. He won’t be forced onto the field and with any luck, Cox will show something in this make-or-break season to reduce any kind of urgency.
But Will McClay’s candidness has been appreciated because Overshown really could fit a number of different places in the NFL. It’s good to know where the Dallas Cowboys plan to use him.