The Dallas Cowboys have two stars in the making on their defense. Micah Parsons‘ versatility has been on display early in his rookie season. Trevon Diggs is proving why he can be an elite NFL cornerback. Daniel Jones and the New York Giants are coming to town in Week 5. Diggs’ big-play ability can force Jones to make the mistakes he’s limited so far in 2021.
Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs leads the NFL in interceptions
Who could’ve predicted this hot start for Trevon Diggs? The second-year cornerback has already recorded five interceptions, just four games into the 2021 season.
Diggs’ didn’t have an ideal start to his rookie season. With any rookie, there’s a learning curve when they turn pro. The Alabama product was certainly no exception. Opposing quarterbacks took advantage of Diggs as he got adjusted to the NFL game.
By the end of the season, though, Diggs began to show flashes of the player he could become. He finished the season with 58 tackles, 14 pass defenses, and three interceptions. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 62.7 at the end of the season.
The former 2020 second-round pick has been nothing short of sensational through the first four games in 2021. Not only does he lead the league in interceptions, but he’s also recorded an NFL-best eight pass breakups.
Diggs returned an interception for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. A former wide receiver, he has displayed elite ball skills in the NFL.
Daniel Jones is playing the best football of his career despite Giants’ 1-3 start
The 2021 season seems to be make or break for Daniel Jones. He’s in his third season out of Duke. Jones struggled mightily in his first two seasons and had yet to live up to the No. 6 overall pick New York used to draft him.
Jones combined for 5,970 yards and 35 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Giants. His biggest issue was protecting the football. He threw 22 interceptions and fumbled the ball 29 times across those two seasons.
Now in year three, Jones is on pace to have the best season of his young career. Through four games, he’s thrown for 1,184 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He’s also rushed for 188 yards and two scores.
Jones’ best performance of the season came in the Week 4 overtime win against the New Orleans Saints. He completed 28 of 40 pass attempts for 402 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
The Giants offense features the most talented weapons it’s had since the team drafted Jones. Saquon Barkley finally appears to be healthy. The front office added Kenny Golladay in the offseason and drafted Kadarius Toney.
There’s no excuse for Jones not to perform with those weapons at his disposal.
Jones has to know where Diggs is at all times
Daniel Jones has done a better job of protecting the ball in 2021, but it’s still not flawless. While he’s thrown just one interception, he has already fumbled three times.
Now he matches up against Trevon Diggs, who is playing like the best cornerback in football.
With Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both out for the Giants, we’ll likely see Diggs matched up against Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney for most of the game.
Diggs has already proven he has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with some of the NFL’s best receivers. He completely shut down Mike Evans in Dallas’ season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Gaithersburg, Maryland native has a nose for the football, and Daniel Jones must account for that. Any mental lapses on his part could result in yet another game-changing play for Diggs.
If the Giants are going to beat the Cowboys, Danny Dimes has to play well. His best bet is to avoid the playmaking corner as much as possible.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.