The Trevon Diggs performance the Cowboys received this season was likely not one that they expected, but it is one their defense needed.
Trevon Diggs has somehow become one of the most controversial players in the NFL during his breakout season with the Cowboys. 11 interceptions on the season with 14 over two years is spectacular for a corner, yet the NFL world doesn’t see this as enough with Diggs.
While Diggs’ interception and passes defended (21) stats jump off the page, some analysts have pointed out the fact that Diggs leads the league in passing yards surrendered with 907 as a means of taking away from this historic season.
This many yards and four touchdowns going against Diggs obviously doesn’t look great, but they still aren’t enough to paint Diggs as anything less than elite.
Stats prove Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs is elite.
First of all, to put the yards in context, let’s look at the games as individuals rather than as a whole. Giving up 56 yards per game sounds far better than “907 over the season,” and when you look at some of the competition, only giving up 56 yards per game in this era is surprising.
Diggs gave up over 80 yards five times (Chargers, Patriots, Broncos, Raiders, Saints) which are all teams with average to well above-average quarterback play, other than the Saints. These teams were viable playoff contenders at one point, and pretending like five performances like this take away from the good moments is asinine.
As for the good games, Diggs gave up 40 or fewer yards five times on the season (Buccaneers, Panthers, Falcons, Chiefs, Giants). Giving up 10 yards against the Buccaneers and 37 against the Chiefs on 14 total targets is impressive in its own right, and we haven’t even mentioned the interceptions yet.
The one stat that matters for defensive players above all else is turnovers. Can you take the ball away from the offense? Giving up yards is bad, but a defense that can stand firm and keep their opponent out of the end zone is far better than their counterpart that doesn’t give up many yards but can’t keep their opponent from scoring.
The Cowboys give up the seventh-fewest points per game in the NFL right now with 20.8, and a massive reason behind this is Diggs and his ability to take the ball out of his opponents’ hands. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to add further to his near-record total, as he’ll be missed 2021’s season finale against the Eagles.
If Dallas was giving up more points, this conversation could go the other direction, but the defense is working, Diggs is showing up on the stat sheet, and the process has helped en route to a playoff appearance.
In a day and age with so many advanced stats, there are many great perspectives that come with a more profound way of looking at the game, but the use of these stats to take away from Trevon Diggs this season is ignoring the much better side of his game.