The Cowboys' draft philosophy has shifted to taking high-character players who give maximum effort since Jason Garrett took over as head coach. That school of thought paid instant dividends at their rookie minicamp, as fourth-round OLB Kyle Wilber turned heads with his energy on the field.
When Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin broke down the Cowboys' draft, he called Wilber the "best available pass-rusher" in the fourth round after 22 had been taken, implying that perhaps Wilber wasn't the best player available on their board.
Expectations for Wilber are low coming in, at least in terms of immediate impact. Wilber outlined what he can provide right away, as reported by John Henry of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“I know I can be a special teams player, and I can give competition to the veteran players, push them and make them better. And if the coaches feel I can play, then that decision is up to them.”
Wilber is already giving the coaches more food for thought when they make that decision. Dallas LB coach Matt Eberflus called Wilber a "hard-playing demon" and said he was stronger at the point than they thought he was when they drafted him, according to Henry.
ESPN Dallas writers also came away impressed. Calvin Watkins called him "quick off the ball and powerful." Todd Archer said Wilber was active, as expected, but that he also had a quick first step and chased down rookie RB Darrell Scott from behind.
Don't expect Wilber to be impressed with himself. According to Archer, Wilber said he's not comfortable and doesn't have an understanding of the playbook yet.
Once he does get comfortable, Wilber could look like the next starting strong-side OLB for the Cowboys, giving them little incentive to sign franchise-tagged current starting OLB Anthony Spencer to a long-term contract.