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Star Evaluation: Wilson Not Lacking Athleticism; Could Be More Consistent

While free agency officially begins in March, roster turnover isn’t too far away. The Cowboys will indeed add and presumably release players, along with letting some go without a new contract.

However, the majority of the 2018 roster is already in place. In the coming weeks, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will preview those players, analyzing where they’ve been and where they’re going.

Today, we’ll continue the series with linebacker Damien Wilson.    

What’s Been Good:

Wilson is a rather good tackler who uses his athleticism to get around the football. Not only does that show up on defense, but special teams, where he ranked sixth on the team with seven tackles. Overall, Wilson was 11th on the defense with 39 tackles and he tied with Anthony Hitchens for the most quarterback pressures (five) by a linebacker in 2017.

What’s Been Bad:

The fact that Wilson only ranks 11th on the defense in tackles and hasn’t been much of a consistent factor has to be somewhat disappointing as he wraps up his third pro season. Despite the injuries to Sean Lee, Hitchens and Jaylon Smith, Wilson didn’t find a way to get more involved in the defensive flow. On top of that, Wilson is probably most known for a couple of off-field incidents. While that hasn’t exactly affected his play on the field, you would like to have more positive moments to trump the negativity, and for now, there hasn’t been much of that.

2017 Highlight:

In a 40-10 win over the 49ers, Wilson had his most active game, recording his only sack of the season. He also finished the game with two solo special teams tackles.    

What’s Next:

Some of that will depend on what the Cowboys decide to do in free agency, most notably with Hitchens. But even though the club will probably address the position in the draft, Wilson should be in position to compete for playing time, perhaps even on top of his starting SAM position. If he can find his way regularly onto the nickel defense, Wilson would have a chance to increase his stats, which should be rather important as he enters a contract season.

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  • Wilson has developed into the starter at SAM linebacker and occasional nickel player.
  • Is strange in how on/off he can be during a game.
  • When he runs and tackles, you feel it. Is a physical player in every sense of the word but is also at times wildly out of control.
  • Will over run plays that puts himself in terrible positions to finish.
  • His aggressiveness is a strength but at the same time a weakness.
  • Initially thought with this style of play would be a liability in coverage but hasn’t always been the case.
  • Understands where he needs to be and works hard to execute.
  • Can be a force on special teams with his size and athletic ability.
  • Plays with little fear.

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