With much roster shuffling expected under the new Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, don’t sleep on these three 2019 rookies.
The 2019 Dallas Cowboys draft class was headlined by top pick Trysten Hill. While the defensive tackle drew top billing, fourth-round running back Tony Pollard made the biggest impact in his maiden season.
Both players will likely have an expanded role in their second season. However, there are three fellow 2019 rookies that could work into important 2020 roles as well.
Position: Offensive Guard
Dimensions: 6-5, 308
2019 Draft Position: 3rd round (90th pick)
College highlights: Started 34 of 38 possible games at Penn St.
Connor McGovern was widely regarded as more physically developed and prepared to start as a Cowboys rookie than fellow Cowboys lineman Connor Williams was a year prior. A torn pectoral muscle wiped out his entire season.
McGovern is healthy and will now have the benefit of a full pro strength and conditioning program under his belt before facing NFL competition. With a new coaching staff, it’s possible McGovern could pry away the starting left guard spot.
Dimensions: 6-0, 204
2019 Draft position: 6th round (213th pick)
College career: 199 tackles, 21.5 for loss, 5 sacks, 8 interceptions, 7 deflections
Donovan Wilson was having a standout preseason under the lights when an injury setback stunted his momentum. He was able to return in week three and play in 11 regular season games logging mostly special teams work.
With a depleted safety position, Wilson will surely get an opportunity to crack the top three. His size and physicality provides a chance to win the starting strong safety role if he can make a hefty jump and build off last year’s preseason.
Dimensions: 6-3, 243
2019 Draft position: Undrafted
College career: 109 tackles, 18 for loss, 7 sacks, 1 interception, 3 deflections
If veteran Sean Lee does not return, it’s my opinion Luke Gifford will be the odds on favorite to win the starting SAM linebacker spot. Dallas is sticking with the 4-3 and Gifford’s size and physicality fits the role well.
Like Wilson, Gifford’s impressive preseason was cut short by injury. He returned in week six and played special teams during the season. Of the three players listed, Gifford is my pick to really turn heads in August and be the hardest to keep sidelined.