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Diggs Battles Injuries As CBs Find Some Resiliency


ARLINGTON, Texas - No Anthony Brown. No Jourdan Lewis. A hobbled Jayron Kearse. And a laboring Trevon Diggs.

It's been the best of times, and it's been the worst of times to be a Cowboys' secondary member in 2022. While yes, they have boasted one of the best units in the league, they have also seen their depth test very quickly in recent weeks.

But nonetheless, that was the situation the Cowboys were faced with on Sunday against the Texans. Without Brown or Lewis for the remainder of the season due to injury, the Cowboys then had Kearse injured himself in warmups, tweaking his right knee while doing a drill, but played anyhow.

Yet at the cornerback spot, they have been forced to turn to rookie sensation DaRon Bland and enigmatic second-year man Kelvin Joseph. Sunday was the first time they rolled out that duo along with Diggs… Until Diggs headed to the locker room late in the second quarter with a thumb injury.

He would return to the field just a few plays later to help lead the Cowboys defense to multiple key stops that held the Texans to just three points in the second half.

"Just fight through it," Diggs said of the thumb injury. "Get through it. Even though it [was] hurting, I [had] to go. That was my mindset."

Diggs fought through it indeed. Not only did he pick up a fumble recovery after Donovan Wilson forced one out against Texans' running back Dameon Pierce in the third quarter, he then proceeded to run half a marathon backwards down the field before getting the modest gain and being completely out of breath.

In the fourth quarter Diggs was right in the middle of the action again, this time fighting with Israel Mukuamu for the game-sealing interception in the endzone by Davis Mills following Ezekiel Elliott's go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute left.

In a season that has been full of adversity despite the hot streak the Cowboys have been on, Diggs knows that a game like Sunday's against the Texans where he was not at his best, nor was the rest of his team, should not go unnoticed.

"It was a good game for us as far as adversity wise," he said. "We need games like that just to see how we're going to respond to a little adversity. The game isn't going our way, things aren't going our way… We need games like that."

Suddenly though, Diggs is now the elder statesman of the cornerback position group with veterans Brown and Lewis finished for the season. When asked about the play of Joseph against the Texan , a guy who has mostly been on special teams this season and played well, Diggs was fairly fruitful in his praise.

And rightfully so. While yes, Joseph gave up a 36-yard gain to Houston receiver Chris Moore in the first half, he came right back in the fourth quarter with a crucial third down stop. He also racked up four tackles, while Bland finished with six on the day.

"I'm proud of what he did today," Diggs said of Joseph. "He had a big third down stop that was very much needed. He's young. He's going to have to go through things just like I did my rookie year. The more that he plays and the more that he's in the game for us it's going to be just fine."

"I just have to do a good job of leading them," Diggs said. "Now I'm like the old guy."

Diggs has unquestionably established himself as a premier shutdown corner after his record setting 2021 campaign where he led the league in interceptions. But maybe now, this is where we see the growth of Diggs. Not just as a player on the field, but as a leader of the young guys around him that will now look up to him.

And while by his own admission he isn't the most vocal person in the Cowboys' locker room or the loudest, Diggs has no issue taking his unit under his wing and carrying them.

"For sure," Diggs replied when asked if he was comfortable with the role. "I'm not really a vocal person. I can lead by example."

Maybe Dak Prescott said it best after the game when asked what he thought of the defense's performance. After all, the Texans decided to shock everyone and go with a two-quarterback rotation between Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel.

DeMarcus Lawerence might have had the game saving play on fourth down with the Texans threatening to put the game out of reach at the Cowboys' 1-yard line. Trevon Diggs played banged up and helped lead an even more banged up secondary unit without its most versatile player healthy in Kearse or without two of its three top corners. And Diggs maybe even stepped into a leadership role.

So, how did Dak characterize the defense?

"They're resilient as hell. It's a special defense."


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