Almost immediately after he was selected 51st overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, expectations for rookie Cornerback Trevon Diggs were sky-high. In training camp, he showed the hype was warranted, to the point he was one of the Dallas Cowboys starting corners in Week 1 vs the Los Angeles Rams.
Although he gave up some plays, which is expected for a rookie, Diggs was in great position several times to make plays and competed at a very high level. This Sunday, however, he'll have the task of lining up against All-Pro Wide Receiver Julio Jones. Head Coach Mike McCarthy was asked on Thursday if he'd hesitate to put Diggs on Jones, and he expressed total confidence in his young corner.
“How we'll line them up and so forth, that will be determined Sunday,” McCarthy said via Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com. “But the reality is I don't have any hesitations on playing the young man, and no disrespect to Julio or any of the (Falcons') receivers. He's earned a starting position at corner for so many good reasons. He'll line up and play and the game will unfold the way it does. But he's a very impressive young man. He's off to a good start.”
Despite his inexperience, McCarthy has been impressed with what Diggs has brought to the Cowboys secondary.
“Outside of his obvious high skill set to play the position and the physical measurables, the thing that I'm so impressed with off his college tape and he's brought it here to Dallas is he has such a patience and calmness to him when he's in coverage.”
McCarthy wasn't the only person with glowing words about Diggs this week as teammate Jaylon Smith gave an encouraging critique of his own.
“Trevon loves the game of football,” Smith said via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “He's locked in. He wants to compete. He's not scared of anybody, and he's ready to ball. He's going to be a star in this league.”
This Sunday, not only will Diggs and the Cowboys secondary have to deal with Jones but also Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage. All three caught nine passes for over 100 yards in the Falcons Week 1 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The only way a young corner can improve is to play against the best receivers in the NFL each and every week. Diggs will have the biggest challenge of his young career on Sunday going against Jones and company.