While NFL preseason serves as a great platform for players to cement their case for the 53-man roster, the negatives typically far outweigh the positives. The Dallas Cowboys learned this in Week 2 when they lost promising rookies DeMarvion Overshown and John Stephens Jr. to torn ACLs.
The injuries overshadowed otherwise strong showings from Deuce Vaughn, Jalen Tolbert, and Kelvin Joseph, among others.
Overshown turned heads throughout training camp and preseason and seemed locked into a prominent role on defense as a do-it-all linebacker.
The 2023 third-round pick will miss his entire rookie year, but there's reason to believe he'll come back stronger. For starters, Overshown has an elite mentality. He was in great spirits after the diagnosis and is ready to attack his rehab.
Additionally, Jerry Jones is seeing to it that the former Texas Longhorn is mentored by Cowboys legend Michael Irvin along the way.
Cowboys legend Michael Irvin to mentor DeMarvion Overshown through ACL rehab
Overshown connecting with Irvin is a fantastic idea. Cowboys fans will remember that Irvin tore his ACL six games into his second season in 1989. The Hall of Fame receiver missed the first four games of the following season and was sidelined by the injury for nearly a full calendar year.
While science and medicine have come a long way since Irvin's prime and ACL injuries typically demand a 6-9 month absence nowadays, Jones knows that it was Irvin's mentality and approach to rehab that helped shape his Hall of Fame career.
"Michael broke everybody's mentality of what it was like when you have a serious injury, a knee injury. And he did that. And Michael will tell you that his rehabilitation is what made his career have the level of success that he had because it scared him that he wouldn't get to have football, and it scary when he got to look around what life would be without it in his case, and it motivated him. So those guys with those kinds of hearts, and when they get motivated to look out because they can be take a setback and can make it into a positive. I hope he can do that. He's got a bright future with the Dallas Cowboys."- Jerry Jones
Jones doesn't always get it right. His comments following Sam Williams' arrest were incredibly tone-deaf and didn't hold the pass rusher accountable. Further, Jones' announcement that DeMarcus Ware will join the Cowboys' Ring of Honor was overshadowed by the fact that he still isn't letting Jimmy Johnson in.
Having Irvin and Overshown link up, though, is a fantastic idea.
There's no comparing Irvin and Overshown as players, but Jones recognizes the rookie has a big heart similar to Irvin's.
Overshown is no doubt mature enough to dominate this rehab on his own and with the help of the Cowboys medical team, but having Irvin share some pointers and motivation along the way is only going to expedite the process.