The 4 best surprises for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys
Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Donovan Wilson, S

Cowboy fans got a taste of what kind of playmaker 2019 sixth-round safety Donovan Wilson could be during the preseason last year. The former Aggie racked up an incredible three interceptions in those exhibition contests, exciting fans in the process thinking maybe Dallas had finally found the defensive difference-maker their secondary so desperately needed.

Instead, Wilson hardly saw the field as a rookie in former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s system. He played a mere 16 defensive snaps in 11 games and was regulated to special teams duty.

Despite a new regime in Dallas, and a new defensive coordinator in Mike Nolan, it seemed to be more of the same for Wilson in his second season. Former first-round safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was brought in as a free agent in the offseason. When Clinton-Dix failed to impress, it was Darian Thompson, not Wilson, who would start alongside Xavier Woods for the team’s first four games of the season.

But everything changed in the Cowboys’ Week Four matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Wilson was allowed to play a whopping 71 defensive snaps after not playing a single one in the team’s first three games. His addition instantly started paying dividends.

Against the Browns, Wilson would rack up 10 total tackles, 1.0 sack and one QB hit earning him the starting role. In the games that have followed, Wilson has proven to be a vicious hitter that’s forced three fumbles in his last four games played. He’s become the team’s de facto enforcer and someone opposing offenses have to be leery of whenever he’s roaming the backfield.