When Trevon Diggs tackled Tyler Boyd shy of the sticks on 3rd down, late in the fourth quarter, teammates and critics alike were stunned. Diggs, not known to be very physical tackler, dialed up the intensity when the moment mattered most for the Dallas Cowboys, potentially saving the game in the process.
The drive-killing tackle that led to a punt and game-winning drive for the Dallas Cowboys, was the second tackle in a row from Diggs. It capped off an impressive showing from the All-Pro and silenced some of his most recent detractors.
Trevon Diggs was strong in all phases of the game for the Dallas Cowboys, silencing critics everywhere.
After leading the NFL in 2021 with 11 interceptions, Diggs had come under fire in the national media. Sure, they all respected his unquestionably elite ball skills, but many critics had a tough time accepting the yards given up.
Pro Football Focus was especially critical, ranking Diggs in the bottom half of the NFL and tagging him for more yards against than just about any other outlet. A new narrative was shaped and it operated outside of reality in many ways.
The impact of Diggs’ interceptions far outweighed his yardage against (we know this because we can track expected points added, or EPA, and grade the value of all plays) and his dedication to the craft, seen in all offseason and preseason work, was reason to believe he would only get better.
Despite this, haters are gonna hate, and that was all too obvious in the lead-up to Sunday’s action.
In addition to the national media’s critique, Trevon Diggs faced criticism from his primary opponent on Sunday. Ja’Marr Chase had some unflattering takes on Diggs, saying he’s “not too much technique-sound” and that “He’s all the way on or he’s not on at all.”
After a monster Week 1 where Chase collected 10 receptions for 129 yards, Chase was held to just five receptions and 54 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. And when Diggs was matched up on him, he only had two receptions for 14 yards.
Trevon Diggs’ own teammates were even surprised by the level of Diggs’ play on Sunday. No, they didn’t question his ability in coverage – they see him in practice every day. They did however question his commitment to tackle.
In one of the more amusing postgame interviews of the day, Micah Parsons spoke directly to the final drive-killing tackle made on Tyler Boyd.
"“That was huge,” Parsons said. “We even said that’s the hardest we’ve ever seen Diggs tackle. He shot out like a cannon…When I saw it was No. 7, I was shocked.”"
“Shocked” was a common theme regarding Diggs’ performance. He proved his coverage ability to the national doubters and he proved his mettle tackling to his teammates. While the All-22 has not yet been released, it’s clear from the broadcast version he’s progressing in coverage and playing with more discipline – while still keeping his ball-hawking ways.
Trevon Diggs is advancing as a cornerback and the false narrative that he just free lances and gives up as much as he gets, is being put to bed. He’s also proving to be very situationally aware and willing to stick his face in the ceiling fan when the stakes are high.