Trevon Diggs had 11 interceptions in 2021, the most by a player in a single season since 1981. This made him an All-Pro and Pro Bowler; not bad for a then-23-year-old playing just his second NFL season. So we’re asking the question yet again: Is Trevon Diggs overrated?
People questioned whether Diggs was truly deserving of those honors mentioned above. All those interceptions didn’t come without a price. The Maryland native was an aggressive route jumper last season, and QBs took advantage of that.
PFF recorded 1,068 receiving yards against Diggs in coverage in 2021, by far the most in the NFL.
But this season, Diggs has grown as a player. His interception numbers aren’t as astonishing as last year’s, but his game has gotten exponentially better.
Diggs rolled back last year’s film
Earlier this season, Diggs told the media that he watched every one of his snaps from 2021, and he wasn’t happy with what he saw. Diggs said:
“I’d be so mad at myself because anything that I would give up, it was because of me. I knew if I could control what I can do, no receiver should be able to catch a pass, you know? That’s my mindset.”
Diggs has good reason to be confident. He’s faced some of the NFL’s most talented WRs, and locked them down. Here’s how Diggs faired in one-on-one situations against these receivers, per PFF:
- Ja’Marr Chase: allowed two catches for 14 yards
- Justin Jefferson: allowed two catches for 19 yards and forced one incompletion
Maybe Diggs was channeling the pride from his college days at Alabama when facing the LSU legends.
Diggs has nine pass breakups this season, which is tied for second in the NFL. His three interceptions are tied for the third-most in football.
Another area that Diggs has improved is tackling. His missed tackle rate has dropped 1.3% compared to last season.
Diggs has benefited from a new scheme
Part of the reason for Diggs’ well-rounded performance this season is a new defensive game plan implemented by Dan Quinn.
Last season, the Cowboys’ CBs ran more man-to-man coverage. This led to Dallas allowing 238 passing yards per game, which ranked in the bottom half of the NFL.
This year, the Cowboys are using less man-to-man and are instead showing more two-high defensive looks. This allows for more coverage downfield, and fewer big plays through the air. Now, Dallas gives up 179 passing yards per game, the second-best total in the league.
Credit to Quinn for realizing the strengths of his defensive backs and playing to them. Of course, leading the NFL with 48 total sacks will help cut down on passing yards, too.