Conversations about the Dallas Cowboys rookie draft class have revolved around first-round pick CeeDee Lamb. The wide receiver is set to become an instant starter in a promising Cowboys offense after a remarkable career in Oklahoma. But it might be Cornerback Trevon Diggs who makes the difference for the team in 2020.
We know the Cowboys are good on offense. They have one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL, a great offensive line, a top-tier running back, and a talented quarterback. The offense is not the concern as the team tries to make a Super Bowl run this year.
However, the same cannot be said about the Cowboys’ defense.
Even with the recent signing of DE Everson Griffen, the Cowboys don’t have a top defense because of their secondary. After letting CB Byron Jones walk in free agency, the teams’ defensive backs offer plenty of questions but few answers.
Dallas has an average safety position with Xavier Woods and a declining Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as starters. While Darian Thompson and Donovan Wilson seem like your usual promising prospects, the team has no clear answer. Months ago, we were even talking about Chidobe Awuzie potentially switching positions to upgrade the safety unit.
Which brings us to the cornerback position and Trevon Diggs… In 2017, Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis seemed like two corners that were going to stick around for the long run. Fast forward to their contract years, and we don’t really know how good they are.
They’ve had their moments, no doubt, but they’ve also been mediocre at times. It’s hard to know if their inconsistency is due to a lack of quality coaching or the players themselves, but it’s fair to be concerned about their weaknesses.
Anthony Brown has had decent performances after an impressive rookie campaign in 2016 but he hasn’t shined as much when lined up on the outside.
Last year, these might not have been the biggest of issues thanks to Byron Jones, who essentially erased one side of the field with excellent coverage. But he’s now a Miami Dolphin and the Cowboys need to forget about him.
Enter second-round pick, Trevon Diggs. The prospect out of Alabama was teased by many as a first-round talent before dropping into the second, but he’s good. Diggs has the size to play on the outside although he did play as a nickel cornerback in college. However, his press skills should translate well to the pros.
Diggs reportedly rotated with Anthony Brown as the team’s right cornerback, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear about him all over the defensive backfield in the upcoming practices.
I think Diggs is promising enough for us to know he’ll be good in the league. The main question right now might instead be: How quickly can he get there. How long will it take him to solidify himself as a starter on Mike Nolan’s defense to upgrade a secondary that desperately needs help?
While the Dallas Cowboys’ front seven defense is loaded with quality starters, the defensive backfield is far from a top unit and might lead to the biggest troubles the team faces in 2020. If there’s one player that can make a big impact, it’s rookie Trevon Diggs.