The Dallas Cowboys overcame the loss of starting quarterback Dak Prescott behind some solid play from his fill-in, Cooper Rush. Rush did more than just keep the team afloat, as they went 4-1 with him under center. He was able to make plays when the team needed him most, taking advantage of what were some great performances by the team’s defense.
That unit deserves a lot of credit for helping keep things going after the Prescott injury. Injuries to starting quarterbacks are usually a death blow for teams, but when you have a defense that performs as well as the one Dallas has, you are capable of overcoming it.
The Cowboys have some homegrown stars on this defense that took their game to another level. A lot of attention is given to linebacker Micah Parsons, and rightfully so, but cornerback Trevon Diggs also deserves a lot of credit.
Diggs burst onto the scene in 2021 as he led the NFL with 11 interceptions and added 21 passes defended, earning an All-Pro and Pro Bowl nod. While he proved to be one of the best playmakers in the NFL, part of the reason he was able to make so many plays was that opposing quarterbacks were not afraid to target him.
He may get an interception, but he was just as likely to get burned for a big play. Diggs was the only cornerback in the NFL to surrender more than 1,000 yards receiving last season as the primary defender. That is no longer happening.
Diggs has been dominant in 2022, picking up three interceptions and 11 passes defended thus far. Against the Detroit Lions in Week 7, he was lockdown. Detroit has had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL this season, but they were stifled by Dallas last week. An early injury to Amon-Ra St. Brown robbed us of what would have been an excellent matchup between one of the game’s best young receivers against Diggs, but the Alabama product still brought his A game.
Diggs had 32 coverage snaps in the game for the Cowboys according to PFF and the Lions found no success throwing against him. He allowed one catch for six yards with one interception, one forced an incompletion and a 2.8 passer rating allowed.
Performances of that caliber rarely happen as Diggs effectively shut down one-half of the field on his own. Knowing you have someone that can hold up in coverage to that extent, Dan Quinn can game plan some big blitzes to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.