As one of 11 linebackers on the training camp roster, rookie sixth-round pick DeVonte Holloman has a long way to go before he’ll see the field for the Dallas Cowboys as anything more than a special teamer.
A South Carolina product with plenty of athleticism and a lot to learn when it comes to being a linebacker, Holloman spent the majority of his collegiate career playing strong safety. He made the move to a hybrid position during his senior season, but is still a work in progress from a linebacker standpoint.
Measuring in at 6’1’’, 243 pounds with a 4.75 40-time, Holloman has the physical tools to shine in the NFL. He may be a bit unpolished, but the speed/size combination should provide the Cowboys with a valuable piece in the not-so-distant future.
While Holloman is still a ways away from seeing significant time at linebacker, the rookie does have experience in coverage, which should help the transition. Seeing as he spent his first three years at South Carolina at safety, Holloman is more than capable of dropping back and making plays against the pass. In the Cowboys’ 4-3 defense, the ability to cover will be invaluable.
More than likely, the Cowboys will groom Holloman this season to be the eventual starting SAM backer, which has been a thorn in Dallas’ side for some time. Current strong-side starter Justin Durant, an offseason acquisition, is only a short-term option at the position and won’t be in Dallas for too long. Holloman will also get a push from players like Alex Albright and Caleb McSurdy during training camp.
During his rookie season with the Cowboys, Holloman will spend the majority of his time serving on special teams as he adjusts to the speed and physicality of the NFL. Barring an injury to Durant or an explosive training camp, the only defensive snaps he’ll see will be in garbage time.
We’ll see during training camp how much progress Holloman has made.