FRISCO, Texas – It's hard to realize the NFL dream without a support system of some kind, but Trevon Diggs' might be better than most.
Yes, it's been well-covered that Diggs is an NFL legacy. His older brother, Stefon, has been a wide receiver in the league for five years and is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. This offseason he was traded from Minnesota to Buffalo, where he'll be part of one of the NFL's most dynamic receiving corps.
But in the midst of a global pandemic, Trevon Diggs' family ties have become more than an interesting tidbit. For a guy who has had to prepare remotely for his first NFL season, his older brother has become an invaluable resource.
"He's been a blessing. I call him every day, after everything I do, after every meeting. Just trying to get tips, things he went through that he can help me on," Diggs said. "He's been a real help for me this offseason, just trying to prepare me for the NFL – getting my body right, getting my conditioning right and doing everything I can to be able to compete in this league."
As one of the headliners of the Cowboys' rookie class, Diggs is currently settling into the routine of an unprecedented training camp at The Star. That wasn't always the case, though, as he spent the offseason living and training with his brother in Miami. It was the first time their schedules had allowed that since the two were in high school.
"It felt good to get back and be able to train with him every day," Diggs said. "He's in the NFL so he knows what it takes, so therefore I'm just following his lead – competing with him every day, trying to get better, trying to perfect my craft, work on my craft."
Hopefully those reps will serve him well. When the Cowboys eventually get to practice in the next few weeks, Diggs is stepping into one of the most wide open competitions on this year's roster. And despite his rookie status, the second-round draft pick was clear about his intentions.
"I'm just getting adjusted and trying to compete every day," he said. "That's my goal, to compete for a starting job and compete for a starting spot."
He'll have some stiff competition. The depth chart is littered with multi-year veterans like Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Daryl Worley. There's also a fellow draft pick, fourth-rounder Reggie Robinson, for good measure.
It's a crowded room for Mike McCarthy, Mike Nolan and new secondary coach Al Harris to sort out. Obviously, the Cowboys drafted Diggs No. 51 overall for a reason, but he'll need to prove he's up to that role.
To that end, his older brother – who fought his way to being a rookie starter as a fifth-round pick – had some valuable advice for him.
"The most helpful advice he told me is just to never quit. Keep working, keep working hard every day – compete, compete, compete," he said. "The only way to give yourself a chance is to do everything right. That's one of the main things he told me, so that's my main focus – listen and try to compete."
That opportunity is on the horizon. After this ongoing ramp-up period, the Cowboys will hit the practice field. From there, Diggs can put what he's learned into action.
"It has been a weird offseason, but football is all about adjustments," he said. "That's in life, too – you need to adjust, to continue to grow and get stronger and get faster so you can go out there and compete."