IRVING, Texas – A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys’ fourth-round pick.
The pick: Minnesota linebacker Damien Wilson
My take: The Cowboys kept Rolando McClain and added Jasper Brinkley, Andrew Gachkar and Keith Rivers, but still had a linebacker need when looking at the present, but especially the future. Wilson has some position flexibility with ability to play middle linebacker and on the weak side.
Staying defensive: Rod Marinelli must be a happy man. Three of the Cowboys’ top four picks have been on the defensive side of the ball. A junior college transfer, Wilson saw his level of play in 2014 make a big jump in part because of losing 13 pounds. He was more fluid and could use his athleticism to make plays. He had 119 tackles last season after posting 78 as a junior. He also had four pass breakups, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and one quarterback hurry to go with 10.5 tackles for loss. He comes to a crowded linebackers group, but the Cowboys have suffered through several injuries there. They added three linebackers in free agency, kept McClain, will welcome back Sean Lee and had Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber as regular contributors. Perhaps the Cowboys are thinking you can never have enough linebackers. At the very least, Wilson will have a chance to be a core special-teamer as a rookie.