The 2020 regular season is over and for all but 14 teams, including your Dallas Cowboys, the 2021 offseason has begun. But before we go begin looking at the team's own free agents, this year's crop of free agents, and prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, let's review some All-Rookie teams for the 2020 season.
Noted draft analyst Dane Brugler from The Draft Show on DallasCowboys.com and The Athletic published his All-Rookie team on Tuesday. He selected one player from each position group. So one quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, outside offensive lineman, interior offensive lineman, edge rusher, interior defensive lineman, linebacker, cornerback, and safety. Even in place where more than one player plays at a time like cornerback, he gave the award to just one player. For Brugler, his top cornerback was Trevon Diggs.
At the quarter mark and the halfway point, his selection for those All-Rookie teams was Jaylon Johnson of the Chicago Bears. Diggs' second half of the season and production in splash plays like interceptions and passes defended gave him the necessary push to overtake Johnson down the stretch.
Here's what Brugler had to say:
“Diggs was one of a handful of prospects that the Cowboys considered with the No. 17 overall pick. Low and behold, he was still available for Dallas in the second round and played like one of the most impressive rookie corners this season.”
While he had his share of rookie mistakes and missed four games due to injury, Diggs finished tied for the rookie lead with three interceptions and his 14 passes defended ranked second among first-year players. He also had the lowest burn rate (53.8%) among rookies and committed only three penalties.”
Dane Brugler, The Athletic
Trevon Diggs certainly wasn't perfect this season as he allowed a passer rating of 96.9. His 1.57 yards per snap per Pro Football Focus was the seventh-highest among cornerbacks with at least 332 coverage snaps in 2020, better than fellow rookie first-round corner Jeff Gladney and tied with AJ Terrell, also a first-rounder.
Diggs' ability to make plays on the football shouldn't be understated. His three interceptions led the Cowboys and he was tied for ninth in the NFL among cornerbacks.
Pro Football Focus also released their All-Rookie team as well this week, and the Dallas Cowboys' Tyler Biadasz made the cut for this first-year squad.
“Only two rookie centers played more than 200 offensive snaps this season — Lloyd Cushenberry III at 1,076 and Biadasz at 427. Among 37 qualifying centers, Cushenberry’s 40.5 PFF grade ranked dead last. It’s hard to put a player with that kind of performance on the all-rookie team, which leaves Biadasz as the default selection.”
Granted, Biadasz didn’t dominate by any means, either. His PFF grade of 53.6 at center this season ranked 33rd among those same 37 qualifying centers, but he did edge out teammate Joe Looney (53.1) on a Dallas offensive line that was interchanging parts all season. The Cowboys will hope some stability brings better results in 2021.”
Ben Linsey, Pro Football Focus
Tyler Biadasz didn’t open the season as the starter and wasn’t able to finish the season because of injury. He was able to put some good things on film and provide some optimism for the future at the center position.
While he naturally received a lot of comparisons to another former Badger Travis Frederick, Biadasz expectations are a little more tempered as he enters a full offseason with the Cowboys. While he may not be an All-Pro, providing solid starter play will help anchor the Cowboys offensive line. However, this is the second straight season he’s dealt with an injury.
Offensive line health will be one of the major story lines heading into this offseason as the Cowboys missed four of five starters at different points this season.
Trevon Diggs and Tyler Biadasz were nice additions to the Cowboys in 2020 and provide a lot of optimism for the future. Both will head into 2021 with the inside track to be starters at their respective positions.