ARLINGTON, Texas - When you go at the king, you better not miss. Trevon Diggs, the reigning and defending champion of NFL interceptions, entered 2022 training camp with more than one goal in mind - surpassing his record-tying 11 interceptions from a year ago and, additionally, to become better in every other aspect of cornerback play as well.
He's doing just that, and in spades.
The First-Team All-Pro helped defeat the Washington Commanders with two critical pass break ups on fourth down to go along with his second interception in as many weeks, narrowly missing on grabbing a third. In training camp, head coach Mike McCarthy made it clear he believed that - while as unfathomable as it might be - his star cornerback was primed to make a jump in his play in 2022.
Asked if Diggs has leapt forward through the first four games of the season, McCarthy was unequivocal.
"Oh yea," he said of Diggs on Sunday. "If you just think of the two big fourth-down plays - those are as good as turnovers. Trevon was big today. I think he's picked up where he left off.
For his part, Diggs attributes his play to the bigger picture of being part of a well-oiled defensive machine that's being orchestrated by Dan Quinn; along with Cooper Rush and the offense overcoming adversity time and again to help in an effort that also sees Brett Maher and the special teams unit impact games on a weekly basis.
"I feel like we're just clicking," said Diggs. "The chemistry is good; we played with each other last year, and you know, offense is doing a good job - new quarterback and stuff. They're picking it up and clicking.
"Everything is finally coming together. We've just got to keep doing it. Keep doing the team chemistry and keep moving forward."
Diggs now has 16 interceptions in his first 25 NFL starts, an eye-popping number that stands to continue increasing as his season and career blazes forward; but he's also sealed victory for the Cowboys with timely tackles and, yes, the aforementioned ability to break up the pass when the opposing quarterback so desperately needs to complete the throw.
On Sunday, that came by way of Diggs batting away a would-be touchdown toss from Wentz - as one example - and the world saw him put the clamps on yet another superstar receiver, holding Terry McLaurin to only two grabs on six targets for 15 yards and no touchdowns.
This comes only two weeks after he held JaMarr Chase to an even less of a productive outing, and only five days after making Daniel Jones pay for targeting him (nearly intercepting Jones a total of three times on the evening).
Quiet as it's kept, Diggs has now become the complete package: a ballhawk who can travel with any team's WR1 and stay glued to their hip, but who can also peel off and provide run support and who isn't to get his hands dirty in open space.
Many will continue to deny it, but Diggs is building his own island in front of our very eyes. What makes it even more dangerous is, thanks to Dan Quinn and the Cowboys front office, there are sharks in the water surrounding it.
And there's no lifeguard on duty.