Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson explains paintball accident

Damien Wilson is sidelined with a right eye injury to start Cowboys camp.
Damien Wilson is sidelined with a right eye injury to start Cowboys camp. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Damien Wilson had been eliminated in a paintball match a couple weeks ago and took off his helmet as he left the field.

Seconds later, a stray paintball hit him in the right eye. It became a scary incident when Wilson lost vision in his eye for a couple days.

But the vision is starting to come back and Wilson is confident that this will only keep him sidelined for a couple weeks as the Cowboys begin training camp with him on the non-football injury list.

“I can’t put a timeline on it, but it’s slowly coming back and getting better,” said Wilson, who wore sunglasses as Cowboys practiced for the first time Saturday.

“Hopefully it’ll be back sooner than later.”

Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than later

Damien Wilson

Wilson is among the breakout candidates for the Cowboys this season. Coach Jason Garrett said the old cliché in football is that players take their biggest jump from the rookie season to the second year.

And signs pointed to Wilson doing just that with an impressive offseason.

“[The injury] is disappointing,” Wilson said. “I had planned to pick up where I left off, pick up in stride, but I guess I have to postpone it. But I’m staying in shape so when I do come back, I can pick up where I left off.”

Wilson finished last season with seven tackles, including two for a loss, and a quarterback pressure. All of those came against New Orleans when Wilson played the second half after Sean Lee exited with a concussion.

9 Special teams tackles by Damien Wilson

Wilson also made his mark on special teams, finishing third on the team with nine tackles.