Damien Wilson

American football player (born 1993)

American football player
Damien Wilson
refer to caption
Wilson with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021
No. 45 – Dallas Cowboys
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1993-05-28) May 28, 1993 (age 31)
Gloster, Mississippi, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Amite County
(Liberty, Mississippi)
College:Alcorn State (2011)
Jones County JC (2012)
Minnesota (2013–2014)
NFL draft:2015 / Round: 4 / Pick: 127
Career history
  • Dallas Cowboys (2015–2018)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2019–2020)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2021)
  • Carolina Panthers (2022)
  • Dallas Cowboys (2023–present)*
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:419
Sacks:9.0
Forced fumbles:5
Pass deflections:9
Interceptions:1
Player stats at PFR

Damien Wilson (born May 28, 1993) is an American football linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Minnesota, and was selected by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. He has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carolina Panthers.

Early life

Wilson attended Amite County High School in Liberty, Mississippi, where he was a teammate of Gabe Jackson. He accepted a scholarship from Alcorn State University, but transferred to Jones County Junior College after his freshman season.

College career

As a sophomore safety, Wilson was named the Region 23 Defensive MVP, after ranking fourth in the nation with 122 tackles (6 for loss), 2 sacks and 2 passes defensed. As a sophomore, he registered 119 tackles (10.5 for loss).[1] At the end of the year, he transferred to the University of Minnesota.[2]

As a junior, he was converted to linebacker, finishing with 12 starts, 78 tackles (second on the team), one sack and 5.5 tackles-for-loss. In his last year he registered 12 starts, 119 tackles (led team), 4 sacks (tied for team lead), 10.5 tackles-for-loss (led the team), one interception, 3 passes defensed, one forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries.[3]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
245 lb
(111 kg)
33+34 in
(0.86 m)
9+38 in
(0.24 m)
4.77 s 1.65 s 2.76 s 4.20 s 7.21 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
9 ft 11 in
(3.02 m)
22 reps
All values from NFL Combine[4]

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)

The Dallas Cowboys selected Wilson in the fourth round with the 127th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.[5] He was the 13th linebacker selected in 2015.[6] On May 28, 2015, the Cowboys signed Wilson to a four-year, $2.74 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $466,315.[7]

As Anthony Hitchens did before him, the coaches decided to make Wilson learn all three linebacker positions in training camp. On special teams he tied for the team lead in tackles (9) with Kyle Wilber and Jeff Heath. As a rookie he registered a total of 16 tackles. Against the New Orleans Saints, he saw extensive play and performed well replacing an injured Andrew Gachkar.[8] He played the season mostly on special teams.

In 2016, he suffered a serious offseason injury on his right eye while playing paintball, missing the first two weeks of training camp after being placed on the non-football injury list.[9] In week 6 of the season, he passed Kyle Wilber on the depth chart and went on to start 5 games at strongside linebacker. He posted 35 tackles (4 for loss).[10]

In 2017, he began the season as the backup at strongside linebacker, before passing Wilber on the depth chart in the seventh game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He tallied 39 tackles (eleventh on the team), five quarterback hurries, one sack and seven special teams tackles (sixth on the team).[11]

Kansas City Chiefs

Wilson playing for the Chiefs in 2019

On March 14, 2019, Wilson signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.[12] Wilson won Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs after they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31–20.[13]

Jacksonville Jaguars

Wilson signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on April 2, 2021.[14] He had a career year in 2021, starting all 17 games, finishing second on the team with 106 tackles, along with three sacks, five passes defensed, an interception and a forced fumble.

Carolina Panthers

On March 17, 2022, Wilson signed a two-year, $6.9 million contract with the Carolina Panthers.[15] He played in 17 games with five starts, recording 38 tackles and two sacks.

On March 10, 2023, Wilson was released by the Panthers.[16]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)

Wilson signed with the Cowboys' practice squad on January 3, 2024.[17] He was not signed to a reserve/future contract after the season and thus became a free agent when his practice squad contract expired.[18] He was re-signed on April 29, 2024.[19]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck TFL Int Yds TD Lng PD FF FR Yds TD
2015 DAL 16 0 15 10 5 0.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 DAL 16 6 34 27 7 0.5 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2017 DAL 16 9 35 21 14 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2018 DAL 16 7 37 28 9 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2019 KAN 16 16 81 52 29 1.5 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
2020 KAN 13 13 73 46 27 0.0 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
2021 JAX 17 17 106 59 47 3.0 5 1 1 0 1 5 1 0 0 0
2022 CAR 17 5 38 23 15 2.0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
127 73 419 266 153 9.0 24 1 1 0 1 9 5 0 0 0

Playoffs

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck TFL Int Yds TD Lng PD FF FR Yds TD
2016 DAL 1 0 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018 DAL 2 0 2 0 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019 KAN 3 3 19 13 6 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020 KAN 3 3 14 9 5 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
9 6 36 23 13 0.0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

Personal life

On July 4, 2017, Wilson was arrested at Toyota Stadium on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon during an Independence Day celebration. He was then released on a $10,000 bond for each count.[20]

On April 19, 2022, Wilson was arrested in Frisco, Texas for allegedly threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend.[21] He was released on a $5,000 bond.[22]

References

  1. ^ Archer, Todd (May 3, 2015). "Damien Wilson's path to Cowboys a long one". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Fuller, Marcus R. (September 17, 2014). "Gophers football: LB Damien Wilson has NFL chops". TwinCities.com. Pioneer Press. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  3. ^ Tomasson, Chris (February 21, 2015). "Linebacker Damien Wilson turns to Gophers teammates for NFL combine boost". TwinCities.com. Pioneer Press. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Damien Wilson". NFLdraftscout.com. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Archer, Todd (May 2, 2015). "Total breakdown: Cowboys draft LB Damien Wilson in the fourth round". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  6. ^ "2015 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  7. ^ "Spotrac.com: Damien Wilson contract". Spotrac.com. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Archer, Todd (October 5, 2015). "Cowboys beaten more ways than one against Saints". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Archer, Todd (August 17, 2016). "Damien Wilson feels 'blessed' he didn't lose right eye in paintball accident". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  10. ^ "Wilson Showed Promise As Strong Side Linebacker". Archived from the original on June 4, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "Damien Wilson 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  12. ^ "Chiefs Sign LB Damien Wilson". Chiefs.com. March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "Super Bowl LIV – San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – February 2nd, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  14. ^ "Jaguars Sign Linebacker Damien Wilson". Jaguars.com. April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  15. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 17, 2022). "Panthers agree to terms with Damien Wilson". Panthers.com.
  16. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 10, 2023). "Panthers release linebacker Damien Wilson". Panthers.com.
  17. ^ Bouda, Nate (January 3, 2024). "Cowboys Signing LB Damien Wilson To Practice Squad". NFLTradeRumors.co. Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  18. ^ Fisher, Mike (January 15, 2024). "Cowboys Sign 8 New Contracts, Prepare for 14 Free Agents & 3 Superstar Deals". Sports Illustrated.
  19. ^ Walker, Patrik (April 29, 2024). "Damien Wilson re-signs with Cowboys for 2024". DallasCowboys.com.
  20. ^ Archer, Todd (July 5, 2017). "Cowboys LB charged with assault with weapon". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  21. ^ Miller, Joshua (April 19, 2022). "Carolina Panthers linebacker Damien Wilson allegedly threatened to kill ex-girlfriend". nypost.com.
  22. ^ Newton, David (April 20, 2022). "Carolina Panthers LB Damien Wilson out of jail on bond after allegedly assaulting ex-girlfriend in Texas". ESPN.com.
  • Dallas Cowboys bio
  • Minnesota Gophers bio Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  • Media related to Damien Wilson at Wikimedia Commons
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