DALLAS — With the signing of George Iloka, the progression of Xavier Woods entering his third season, and Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier bringing the playmaking and punishment, it appears the Dallas Cowboys are set at safety. However, there is one Southeastern Conference product that has piqued their curiosity.
Enter former Texas A&M Aggies safety Donovan Wilson. The 6-0, 199-pound Shreveport, La., product drew interest from the Cowboys at the Aggies' pro day on March 26, so much so that Dallas sent safeties coach Greg Jackson and defensive assistant Ken Amato along with their scouts to check out Wilson.
The Shreveport Woodlawn alumnus is not a name that is up there with the likes of Delaware's Nasir Adderley or Mississippi State's Johnathan Abram. Projected to go near the bottom of the draft, Wilson has been impacted by a sports hernia for which he had surgery and missed the 2018 Gator Bowl.
However, Wilson did not let the injury hold him back at Aggies pro day, recording a 39-inch vertical.
A source close to the Cowboys tells WFAA.com that while Wilson's pro day was "amazing," the concern they have is he won't be ready for NFL training camp if he doesn't get rest for his hernia surgery.
According to the source, the club knows what Wilson can do on tape; he doesn't need to prove anything else at the risk of aggravating his sports hernia injury and missing time in a NFL camp. If Wilson rests and heals up, the source says, the former Aggie safety will be fine.
What the Cowboys like about Wilson is his ability to play down in the box. In 2018, a year of eligibility granted to Wilson due to a medical redshirt from 2017, he recorded 67 combined tackles, 5.5 of them for loss, collected 2.0 sacks, intercepted two passes, and deflected two more.
Wilson would be able to provide run support for the Cowboys, but he also wouldn't be, "a negative player if he goes and plays the back part of the field," the source told WFAA.com.
Dallas likes the way Wilson plays in the box, in the intermediate areas, and in zone coverage. The theory behind the way the Cowboys view back end talent is that if they can identify two or three positive traits, they believe they can coach the rest.
"We think he has all the intangibles," the source told WFAA.com. "We'll see what happens."
There has been no confirmation as to whether the Cowboys have brought in Wilson for a workout or as one of their 30 visits. Given the fact the Cowboys would like to see him fully recuperate from his sports hernia surgery, it is safe to presume they wouldn't want to bring him in for a workout.
Dallas would be in a pickle when it came to taking Wilson. With a fifth-round pick and a seventh-round selection available to them on day three, Dallas would be at risk of taking Wilson too early or missing out on him entirely.
Nonetheless, the moves the Cowboys have made in free agency to shore up the back end allow them to take these kind of risks, both in waiting out for Wilson, and also waiting for Wilson to get healthy enough for training camp.
Do you think the Cowboys are in a good position to select the best player available when they pick in the draft or should they focus on needs? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.