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Mailbag: Why Wasn't Donovan Wilson Starting?

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Why did it take the coaching staff so long to give Donovan Wilson a starting job? Seems like whenever he's in the lineup he makes plays. He shouldn't have been behind Darian Thompson on the depth chart. — VINCENT VINCI / LAURENCE HARBOR, NJ

Rob: My guess would simply be experience. Same reason Joe Looney began the season at center and before Tyler Biadasz took over for a few games. Sometimes coaches lean toward what they've seen veteran players do, particularly in a situation like the Cowboys' this year, trying to install new schemes on the fly. There are still things Wilson can improve in terms of coverage, but his physical play has helped set the tone for the defense. Watching him a bunch at Texas A&M, I can't say I'm too surprised. He has a way of finding the football.

David: Football coaches love players that they trust. I don't want to generalize too much, but I think maybe a reason for that is because many coaches were smart but not-as-talented players during their playing careers. Sometimes I think they lean toward trusting players a bit too much. To their credit, I think they started giving Donovan a chance when they realize his upside might be valuable enough to overcome his inexperience.3

Are there any ramification for Cowboys players from Adam Thielen being placed on the reserve/COVID list? — JEFF MCPHERSON / GLEN ROSE, TX

Rob: Speaking to the media Monday, Mike McCarthy wasn't aware of any immediate changes in protocol and will wait to hear from the league on whether anything changes. The Cowboys have been in the intensive protocol since the bye week — the result of a positive COVID-19 test from the Steelers — so they're already taking all the extra precautions required by the league.

David: As Rob mentioned, the Cowboys are fortunate in that they've already been in the intensive protocols. The whole league adopted them on Saturday. Obviously, they're going to need to keep a close eye on this over the next couple days, but that added precaution might go a long way in keeping them safe for Thursday.

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