Three Dallas Cowboys players have increased their their value through solid performances Sunday night.
The Dallas Cowboys lost Sunday night to the Eagles. Yeah, yeah, we kind of expected that. What we didn’t expect is how closely the ‘Boys played the Eagles and how much fight this team showed in their losing effort.
There’s nowhere to go but up for many players on this disappointing Dallas Cowboys squad. That holds especially true for the defense. Today we highlight three Dallas Cowboys defenders who appear to have outplayed their current expectations and increased their stock value as individuals.
Trevon Diggs, CB
Trevon Diggs has been one of the most picked on and abused cornerbacks in the NFL. Before Sunday, Diggs was second worst in the league in yards surrendered. For every tightly contested play, he’s offered up a big play. Sometimes
Trevon Diggs’ first interception couldn’t have happened at a better time. The Eagles were driving the field once again and on the cusp of adding to the scoreboard. Diggs’ INT didn’t just turn the ball over, but it stole points. It also sparked a little something in the Dallas Cowboys defense that was teetering on the brink of “here we go again” territory.
Diggs’ end zone interception was the Cowboys first pick in 207 passes against them. I’ll rephrase – opponents have slung the ball, consequence-free, over 200 times against this defense until that play.
For months we’ve been waiting for Trevon’s ball skills to tangibly provide. We got it twice on Sunday Night Football. This not only boosts his stock but also boosts his already-impressive confidence. This could be a turning point in Trevon Diggs’ young career.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB
Last week we didn’t like the Leighton we saw. The third year LB out of Boise struggled in his comeback. He was physically hampered and clearly apprehensive in his attack. It was cause for concern for a team desperately in need of play-makers.
It was also causing concern for anyone thinking we many never see that rookie version of LVE ever again. Vander Esch’s 2019 season was marred by injury, but even before that, it was also chock full of bad play. Is the real LVE the guy who balled as a rookie or is the real LVE the guy who struggled in 2019? If this week was any indication, it appears it’s the former.
Vander Esch didn’t play flawlessly and was washed out of a few too many plays, but he was the best we’ve seen him quite some time and delivered a big play that invigorated the defense and kept Dallas in a game they had no business being in.
This defense is at it’s best when DeMarcus Lawrence is mad dogging and LVE is laughing and howling at the moon. They represent the identity of this team and their presence was felt through their play and by their demeanor.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE
Speaking of Lawrence, the man known as “Tank” once again proved his value to this team. It’s not as if Lawrence was playing poorly this season, but he was getting plenty of blame as the highest paid player on a historically bad defense.
Even before this week, Lawrence was rated as the NFL’s 4th best edge player by PFF. His pressure rate was top-4 in the NFL and his run defense was top-8. But things just looked better on Sunday night when the players around him started to play up to our modest standards.
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For those who have broken down his film this year, Sunday night’s game was nothing new. He’s been a beast all season long. But his sack and two tackles for loss are enough to silence his doubters who only pay attention to the highlights. And with his teammates finally start to elevate their games around him, DeMarcus is going to start getting the respect he deserves from “the casuals” and national audiences.
NOTE: Donovan Wilson is someone I want to include but need the All-22 to do so. Safeties notoriously operate outside of the broadcast so it would be disingenuous to include him here until his play can actually be graded – but at face value – this looked like a breakout game.
There’s a reason this list is 100% comprised of defensive players – they earned it. The Dallas Cowboys may have lost last night but there were some winners in the effort.
- Published on 11/02/2020 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 11/02/2020 at 11:58 AM