Dallas Cowboys fans may have taken notice that Trevon Diggs will miss the remainder of 2023 NFL campaign due to a ruptured ACL in his left knee, according to reports by NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. Diggs was an exceptional performer early in the year for Dallas’ defense unit; therefore his absence will come at great cost to their performance despite its early season success.
The Incident and Immediate Aftermath
The unfortunate injury occurred during a Thursday practice session, specifically during the one-on-one drills. Diggs was later seen using crutches, according to the Dallas Morning News. Subsequent MRI results confirmed the team’s worst fears: an ACL tear that will sideline him until 2024. A statement from the Cowboys didn’t specify a timeline for his return but did affirm that he would miss the remainder of the 2023 season.
The Impact on Dallas’ Secondary
The absence of Diggs creates a sizable gap in Dallas’ defensive backfield. The team had been deploying Diggs and Stephon Gilmore as outside cornerbacks, with DaRon Bland primarily covering the slot. Given that Bland led the team in interceptions last season and has already secured a pick-six in Week 1 of the current season, he may well be moved to fill Diggs’ position.
Potential Replacements: Who Could Step Up?
Apart from Bland, several other players could be tasked with covering for the loss of Diggs. Jourdan Lewis, who recently returned from a Lisfranc injury, has experience playing both inside and outside and could be a part of the solution. Noah Igbinoghene, acquired in a trade with Miami in August, could also receive more snaps, although he was inactive in Week 2. Rookie Eric Scott Jr., a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft, and veteran C.J. Goodwin from the practice squad could also be considered, while Nahshon Wright may return from injured reserve as early as Week 5.
The Financial Perspective: Diggs’ Contract
Diggs’ injury at an inconvenient financial time for the Cowboys was also tragic in terms of finances. Just days before signing a lucrative five-year extension during training camp for $97 million with an attractive signing bonus and total guarantee totalling $42.3 million, Diggs was injured only days prior to being set for yet another lucrative five-year extension offering an unprecedented signing bonus and total guarantee total of $42.3 million – something no other team had done prior.
A Look at Diggs’ Career So Far
Diggs has played an instrumental role in Dallas’ defensive successes at just 25 years old. A second-round selection in 2020, Diggs quickly rose to fame by leading the league in interceptions during 2021 (11). Since then he has recorded 18 interceptions over 47 games (46 starts), earning two Pro Bowl selections over his short but fruitful career.
Team Performance and Future Prospects
Prior to Diggs’ injury, Dallas held an incredible defensive record, ranking first among NFL teams for yards allowed per play allowed, interception rate, sack rate and interception rate among others. Over their two games so far this season they only allowed 10 points, helping lead them to an undefeated start with both wins at their disposal and scoring 10 of its own! They only conceded 10 total points over that span for their 2-0 start!
While Trevon Diggs’ absence represents a substantial blow for the Cowboys, his absence does present them with an opportunity for other players to step up and fill that void. With an experienced roster containing veteran talent as well as promising youngsters like Collin Severson or Maliek Collinson on hand to contribute, there may still be ways for Trevon’s absence to have less of an effect; nonetheless, pressure now rests upon coaching staff and players as they attempt to adapt defensive prowess even after such a devastating hit; subsequent games will determine if or not this loss hinders making deep playoff runs due to losing such key defensive prowess.