The Dallas Cowboys currently have a record of 2-1 with a divisional foe, the 1-2 Washington Commanders, on tap for a Week Four divisional matchup this Sunday. And a big reason for the Cowboys winning record is the impressive play of their defense.
After three games, the Dallas defense already ranks among the best in the NFL. This unit leads the league in sacks recording a total of 13.0 so far this season. And their allowed scoring average of 17.3 points per game to opposing offenses is the eighth lowest.
One of the strongest areas of the Cowboys’ defensive unit is their secondary. They are particularly deep at the safety position. The depth chart in Dallas includes safeties Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Donovan Wilson, Israel Mukuamu and rookie Markquese Bell.
But it’s Wilson, the 27-year old veteran safety playing in his fourth NFL season, who recently received some praise via the team over at Next Gen Stats. According to them, Wilson is the second best safety in the NFL through his first three games of the young season.
“Since taking over as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator in 2021, Dan Quinn has used nickel personnel (five defensive backs) at the second-highest rate in the NFL (79 percent of plays). Given that Quinn is also one of the last defensive play callers majoring in single-high shells (63 percent of plays since ’21, third in NFL), that means the strong safety will often line up in the box. This year, Wilson has filled that role for the Cowboys, aligning in the box almost as frequently (41 percent of the time) as he does at deep safety (44 percent). The fourth-year pro has taken advantage of his proximity to the ball, leading all safeties with four QB pressures on just 11 blitzes.“The Next Gen Stats Analytics Team via NFL.com
The Next Gen Stats Analytics Team gave Wilson’s play a high overall score of 93. His grades included a tackling score of 95, a coverage score of 90, a pass rush score of 92, and a play-time percentage of 94.
A sixth-round selection out of Texas A&M by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2019 NFL Draft, Donovan Wilson is coming off a stellar performance against the New York Giants on Monday night. He recorded 11 combined tackles, 1.0 sack, two quarterback hits, one tackle for loss, and a pass deflection while playing 100% of the defensive snaps against the G-Men in the divisional win.