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Overshown on bulkier frame, Zimmer expectations


FRISCO, Texas — The next time fans of the Dallas Cowboys see DeMarvion Overshown on the field, live and in living color, will be at training camp in Oxnard come late July, but he won't look the same as he did in his first-ever camp in 2023, and not simply because he's changed his jersey to No. 13..

Overshown used his time away from the field — recovering from a torn ACL suffered last August amidst a dominant training camp — to bulk up in preparation for what will essentially be his true rookie season in 2024.

The former third-round pick explains why he made a concerted effort over the last several months to put on a noticeable amount of muscle to his already lengthy, athletic frame, as he gets ready to take on the role of WILL (weakside linebacker) for Mike Zimmer's defense.

"I've definitely gotten bigger since last year," said Overshown. "That was more of a me thing, and seeing my future in this league and what's gonna be best for my body — to be productive on the field — and that was gaining weight.

"And not just gaining weight in general, but gaining lean mass, muscle weight and getting stronger. I've put about 12-13 pounds of lean mass on, and I'm gonna go into camp a little bigger and then drop down to where I wanna play at, which will be around 233 or 234 [pounds]."

And, speaking of Zimmer, it's well-known how much he demands of linebackers in his defensive schemes. Overshown entered the league under Dan Quinn, who is now head coach of the Washington Commanders, and is now adjusting to his second NFL defensive coordinator in as many years.

It's been an easy transition though, and one born-and-bred Texas native is embracing with open arms.

"I like Zim, because he actually teaches us football," he said. "You feel it and you get a good grasp of everything going on with the defense. You know what the safeties [are doing] and what the D-line are doing in front of you, and it's easy to click with everybody."

The latter part of that statement is something that led Zimmer and the Cowboys to use a third-round pick this year on Marist Liufau as well, seeing as the defense Liufau was a part of at Notre Dame required linebackers (and every player) to learn and memorize the role and responsibility of every single defensive player on every single play.

Overshown and others — aided by the mentoring of Eric Kendricks, who is reuniting with Zimmer and helping those around him acclimate to such expectations — will be required to do the same in Dallas.

The ex-Longhorn is a sponge for anything Zimmer wants to throw his way.

"I tell people all of the time that I'm excited to play for him," said Overshown. "I've seen who he's coached, the defenses he's been a part of, and they've all been special. When you get to play for a guy like this, you wanna take everything that he says and write it down, make a mental note of it, because he's not telling you anything that's not gonna make you a great player in this league."

It's that type of mentality that will likely pay early dividends in helping to shorten Overshown's learning curve in what will be his first go at the NFL regular season.

He remains on track to potentially be medically cleared soon, his goal being to avoid beginning training camp on the team's PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) List.

The 23-year-old is currently "ahead of schedule", both physically and mentally.

And that's great news for the Cowboys' defense, because while it's said you can't miss what you've never had, you'd be hard-pressed to apply that logic to Overshown's absence last season.

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