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Offseason | 2024

DeMarvion Overshown 'more hungry' to compete in linebacker room after ACL recovery


FRISCO, Texas — Cowboys second-year linebacker DeMarvion Overshown didn't have the rookie year he expected.

When drafted last April, the hype around Overshown bringing an immediate impact to the field and being a key cog of Dan Quinn's defense in 2023 was felt by those in the building upon his arrival as well as in the fanbase. In the preseason, things were shaping up just right for him to not only be that promised key cog but to also start at the linebacker position.

That all came crashing down when – in his second preseason game against the Seahawks at Lumen Field in Seattle – he went to make a tackle on the sideline that saw his left leg get stuck in the turf and effectively tear the ACL in his left knee. It ended his rookie season before it could even get started.

On Tuesday afternoon, while in the midst of the latter stages of his recovery, Overshown participated in a fan event at Academy Sports + Outdoors in north Frisco where he was able to play backyard games with fans and sign autographs. Despite the trials of his first year in the NFL, his smile remained just as big as it did when he first walked into The Star 11 months ago.

"It means the world to me to see the faces on the kids, on the people for somebody just taking the time to do this because I knew how much it meant to me when I would go to an event like this," Overshown said. "Any chance I get to come out and be in the community, I'm always there for them. Some kid will remember that."

His recovery remains on schedule, as Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said last week in Indianapolis that he expects Overshown – along with fellow torn ACL recovery Trevon Diggs – to be ready in time for training camp in July.

"We're pushing right at six months out," Overshown said. "Everything is going good. We're starting to move around. We're ahead of the curve. It's just a process…This isn't what my rookie year was supposed to be, but you get up and you do it every day."

If there is anything positive to take away from an ACL tear, Overshown hasn't been alone in his recovery. Along with Diggs, who tore his ACL in late September, Overshown has been able to rehab with fellow rookies tight end John Stephens Jr. and wide receiver David Durden.

"All of those guys, they make it so much easier," he said. "It's days where you can find yourself in a dark place, but you get there and you're laughing and cutting up with those guys and seeing that they're going through the same process. I just see this as a blessing in disguise. It will make me a better football player, a better teammate, a better man and all of that in general."

All three rookies tore their respective ACLs in a four-day span and have all built a strong bond during their joint recovery. Heading into month-six of their recoveries, they have still been able to keep a competitive edge off the field with how they attack their rehab process.

"You compete, you make everything like a football game," he said. "Our jumps, who can do the most on bench [press] today, who got the better numbers. Making scenarios and competing with guys, it keeps us happy to go up there."

Overshown was known for his work ethic and high motivation early on last season at training camp, and now with an added chip on his shoulder following the injury, his determination going into his first season on the field is even higher.

"More hungry," he said. "All of the excitement that was built up in year one is still in there. It's ready to be unleashed on people. The glimpse that y'all got last year, you should expect 10 times more than that. This ACL injury will not be an excuse for anything going into the season at all. I'm gonna be ready to play and [fans] should expect that."

In looking at a linebacker room that sorely needed his presence at the end of the season in 2023 after injuries and a lack of depth, Overshown is looking forward to bringing competition to the second level in training camp to not only make himself better, but the linebacker group around him.

"I'm coming into that room competing, and that's not just me wanting the starting job – because of course, we all do – but it's bringing the guys with me in the linebacker room," he said. "We're all competing and that brings our linebacker room to a new level. I bring that competition. It's a newcomer coming in that's hungry for a spot. It forces everybody to want to play better."

Coming off an injury like an ACL tear, it's typical to expect a bit of a setback from the average athlete, but Overshown is keen on his return being much different when he is fully cleared. For him, it's a blessing in disguise to unlock more of what he can bring.

"This ain't no setback in my career," Overshown said. "This is me being ready so I can attack the season how I was supposed to last year."

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