The Dallas Cowboys put a lot of trust in second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs in their week one loss, asking him to follow Buccaneers WR Mike Evans. The expectations for Diggs have been high ever since the Cowboys waited until the 44th overall pick to address cornerback in this year’s draft. Kelvin Joseph may see the starting lineup soon, but he did not make his Cowboys debut at Tampa Bay. This left Diggs on an island with Evans, paired with Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis as the team’s starting secondary.
Diggs was only targeted by Tom Brady once on his final drive, nearly coming away with a game-sealing interception. His strength as a physical cornerback in man coverage paired well against a big receiver like Evans.
Trevon Diggs shadowed Mike Evans, aligning across from him on 39 of his 47 routes (83%).
Evans caught one ball against Diggs, and three all game – his lowest output since week 14 last season. It was the Cowboys issues in pass coverage at LB against Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski that hurt them the most, something they have the depth to prepare for with rookie Micah Parsons leading the way, Keanu Neal, Leighton Vander Esch, and Jaylon Smith.
Where they lack depth is CB, making Diggs a mainstay in the lineup although Thursday was just his 12th start. Diggs faces a different challenge against the Chargers next week, with Keenan Allen as their WR1. Allen is a more agile and precise route runner compared to Evans, similar to Trevon’s training camp matchup in Amari Cooper.
Preparing for his second NFL season against not only Cooper but CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup has given the Cowboys confidence they can at least take away opponent’s first option in the passing game. Where Chargers QB Justin Herbert goes from there next Sunday, with Mike Williams and Jared Cook at his disposal, remains to be seen.
What’s been proven repeatedly is Trevon Diggs’ playmaking ability, and his scheme fit in Dan Quinn’s defense will continue to give him opportunities in man coverage. His interception on Thursday gives him four through 13 career games, a level of production on the ball the Cowboys have been desperate for at the position for too long.