There isn't a hotter cornerback in the league right now than Dallas' Trevon Diggs, father of Aaiden and even a few NFL quarterbacks at this point. His six interceptions already in 2021 have the Cowboys' 2nd-year stud in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year and even getting compared to the arguably the greatest CB of all time in “Neon” Deion Sanders.
The “Prime Time” comparisons were already going in some circles after the first few weeks of the season. Diggs has had a pick, and a few near ones, in every game so far. After two last week against the Carolina Panthers, Trevon's name was already being put next to Deion's among some in Cowboys Nation.
But after an incredibly athletic INT last Sunday against the New York Giants, the latest comparison to Sanders came from a very credible source.
Trevon Diggs with the closing speed is absolutely special with the ball skills…
Troy Aikman showers high praise on Trevon Diggs by comparing him to the great Deion Sanders 💪 pic.twitter.com/JwEnnAzDKW
Aikman knew Deion's ability both from their years together in Dallas to competing against him when he was with the 49ers and Falcons. Sanders was a key reason that San Francisco was able to beat the Cowboys in the 1994 NFC Championship Game and cost us a fourth Super Bowl during the 90s dynasty.
Deion Sanders is to cornerbacks what Larry Allen is to guards; almost unanimously considered the greatest to every play at their positions. So naturally, by throwing the lofty comparison out there on FOX's Game of the Week, Troy set off a social media firestorm for Trevon Diggs.
Of course, we have a long way to go before Diggs can ever be put in the same career status as Deion, Aeneas Williams, Darrell Green, or the greats who came before them. But there is at least one area where Trevon is actually close to eclipsing Sanders.
With his six interceptions so far in 2021, Diggs already has more in one season than Prime did in any year with the Cowboys. Deion had five picks in 1998 for Dallas and a career-high of seven 1993 when he played for the Falcons.
By 1993 Sanders had already been to two Pro Bowls and was one of the most feared corners in the game, so already he was entering the time in his career when less quarterbacks were daring to throw his way. That's a big reason why the INT numbers stayed lower throughout his career.
That's something to think about going forward with Trevon Diggs. Soon we may have to stop judging him by picks because the opportunities are going to become fewer. Any QB would rather test Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, or Kelvin Joseph (soon, hopefully) in coverage than Diggs based on the last five games.
If Trevon Diggs does start forcing passers to look in other directions, that will make him more like Deion Sanders than ever.
Mathematically, Diggs is still threatening the Cowboys single-season INT record,11 by Everson Walls in 1981, and even the league-record 14 by the Rams' Dick Lane in 1952. But even if the numbers start drying up due to fewer targets, that doesn't mean Trevon will be any less valuable of a player.
If anything, this growing reputation and glowing comparison could become more useful to the Cowboys' defensive scheme than anything Diggs as actually does on the field.