Trevon Diggs raised an objection to the question. “What are the chances?” Tuesday night, the Cowboys’ All-Pro cornerback said. “I’m not sure what’s meant by ‘taking chances.’” “I am a football player.” Coach Mike McCarthy attempted to answer the question. “Should I take chances or go for broke?” When asked following the team’s final OTA practise on Thursday, he responded. “I believe there is a narrow line to walk between those two.” Last season, the Cowboys’ defence improved dramatically, thanks in part to second-year CB Trevon Diggs’ 11 interceptions. However, as the offseason progresses and NFL fans contemplate what to do with their free time, some are wondering whether Diggs’ production more closely resembled the skillset of a rare ball player or the inclinations of a defender ready to give up some big plays to win?
The Cowboys ranked seventh in points allowed, 11th in rushing defense and 20th against the pass. But just two teams were burned for more pass plays of 40+ yards than the Cowboys at 14. Only three clubs yielded more receptions of 20+ yards than the Cowboys’ 62. The Cowboys similarly ranked among the league’s most likely teams to allow a big run: only the Steelers and Jets ceded more rushing plays of 20+ yards than the Cowboys’ 14.
The tenuous balance is one Diggs hopes to strike even more precisely entering his third professional season and sixth-ever season playing cornerback, something Diggs acknowledges in saying “I’m still new to playing corner so there’s a lot of things I have to work on.”McCarthy understands the philosophical quandary—while also encouraging Diggs to channel the instincts that fueled his 2021 success.“You don’t get that way by playing cautious,” McCarthy said. “It’s a balance. He’s young. Big-play production, you got to have it to score points and stop points in this league.”Diggs wasn’t alone among Dallas defenders who surrendered big plays.
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