EXCLUSIVE Interview with DeVonte Holloman

I’ve recently done interviews with Matt Johnson and Tyrone Crawford, two young players who will battle for a starting spot next season. Now you can add a 3rd potential starter to my list of recent interviews.
DeVonte Holloman was a 6th round pick in the 2013 draft. Not many people knew who he was at first, but that all changed once the preseason games started. Holloman finished the preseason with 2 INT’s (one of which was returned for a TD), 16 tackles, 2 defended passes, 2 QB hits, a sack and a tackle for a loss. Holloman kept the momentum going in the regular season opener when he recovered a fumble on a Giants kick return. For the rest of the season, Holloman didn’t get much playing time due to lingering injuries, but when he got his opportunities, he continued to make the most of them. During the final 2 games of the season, DeVonte finally had his chance to show his potential as a starter, recording 17 tackles and 2 sacks against the Redskins and Eagles.
Now with a season under his belt, Holloman should have the confidence and experience to legitimately compete for a starting job next year.
I was able to catch up with him earlier and he talked to me about his thoughts on this upcoming season.
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JORDAN ROSS: What do you think the biggest challenge was for you in transitioning from college to the NFL?
DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: Just learning what it takes to be a pro. It takes a lot more studying and time than people realize. You just don’t know until you’re in that situation.
JORDAN ROSS: Which veterans took you under their wing when you joined the Cowboys, and what did they teach you?
DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: Justin Durant, Sean Lee and Ernie Sims. I’m not gonna go into details, but they showed me little things that helped them when they first got into the league and what helps them now. They helped me a lot.

JORDAN ROSS: Due to injuries, you got an opportunity to start in the season finale. You ended up getting 2 sacks and made some big plays against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. How much confidence did that give you heading into the offseason?

DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: Man, it gave me great confidence. Now I’m just trying to build off of that and carry it into next season.

JORDAN ROSS: You will be battling for a full-time starting spot next season. What do you think you specifically bring to the table that will help this defense improve in 2014?

DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: I think that I’ll be able to bring some more fire and a higher level of intensity to the defense next year.

JORDAN ROSS: Which players did you grow up watching and try to base your playing style after?

DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: I played safety growing up, so I really looked up to guys like Sean Taylor and Brian Dawkins.

JORDAN ROSS: With Demarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher now gone, other guys will have to fill their leadership roles on defense. Could you see yourself stepping into one of those roles if called upon?

DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: I think I can be a leader for this team, but it’ll take all of us to fill those big shoes left by Hatch and Ware, not just one guy.

JORDAN ROSS: Do you have any pre-game rituals that you follow on Sundays?

DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: I like to just lay on the field and visualize myself making plays. And I listen to whatever music is hot at the time.

JORDAN ROSS: Last but not least, I always end my interviews with this question.. What is the best part about being a Cowboy, and what does the star on your helmet mean to you? And is there anything else you want to say to the fans?

DEVONTE HOLLOMAN: The history and tradition of the star is unmatched by any other organization. It’s a privilege to be a Cowboy and I don’t take that for granted. I also want to say that I appreciate all of the real fans out there who stick with us through thick and thin. Better days are ahead for this team, I promise you that.

If Holloman is able to live up to his potential, I have no doubt that his promise of “better days ahead” is on the horizon.
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