The Cowboys second-year corner is ready to take another step up.
“Trevon Diggs looks like a reason to be optimistic about the Cowboys defense,” Harrison wrote in his Friday notebook following practice, according to the team’s website. “It doesn’t matter if he’s nose-to-nose with Michael Gallup or matched up with CeeDee Lamb, Diggs competes for every ball. He’s comfortable defending any route from any coverage. Diggs is supremely confident, but his greatest attribute may be his short-term memory. In 7-on-7 he was beat by Gallup on a curl, but on a comeback route with Lamb he was able wrestle away the ball for an interception.”
A second-round and the 51st overall pick after a standout career at Alabama in the 2020 NFL Draft, Diggs has already proven in just one year that he has already figured some things out in the league. Diggs started 11 games for the Cowboys in 2020 and played in 12. In that time on the field, he recorded 58 tackles, three interceptions and forced one fumble. And thanks to working out with his brother, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, at the House of Athlete, Diggs could perhaps be even better in his second season.
“Going against my brother every day and seeing him [made me better],” Diggs said when asked about that experience of training with his brother, according to the team website. “Watching how he works is rubbing off on me.”
For the Cowboys’ sake, they are hoping Diggs did indeed take a step forward and can help them in a big way. Dallas’ defense ranked 23rd in the league in total defense last year, giving up 386.4 yards per game and 28th in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score 29.6 points per game. As new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn enters his new role with the team, many expect him to alter the way that the team’s defense plays.
Cowboys WR Michael Gallup on upcoming contract negotiations: “It’s up in the air, but I want to stay.” - RJ Ochoa, BloggingTheBoys
Michael Gallup comments on his potential future in Dallas.
Michael Gallup on upcoming contract negotiations: “It’s up in the air, but I want to stay.”
It isn’t exactly a foreign idea to suggest that the Cowboys could trade Michael Gallup in 2021. As noted this is the final year of his rookie contract and they seemingly have future options at wide receiver in Lamb and Amari Cooper (if they decide to keep him in 2022). We have discussed this before.
Many different Cowboys players have had to answer questions about their contract situation with the team and Michael Gallup is the latest to face that rite of passage. During an interview with Good Morning Football on Monday he was asked about his status and noted that he would love to stay in Dallas.
”You’re obviously going to think about it, but you can’t really do anything about it except go out on the field and do what you’re supposed to do,” Gallup said of playing out the final year of his deal. “You’re not going to get that contract if you don’t do what you’re supposed to on the field first. I think, one thing to think about, you can’t talk anything into the future. You’ve just got to do what you’re supposed to do right now. For me, it’s just going out there helping this club win ball games, have fun doing it. Obviously, I’d love to stay here, love to be in Dallas, love the community, love the city, love the fans, so it’s up in the air, but I want to be right here. So we’ll see.”
Until after the trade deadline in 2021, there will be rumors about Gallup’s status.
For a team like the Cowboys, already favored to win their their division and hoping to return to being a legitimate NFC contender, keeping Michael Gallup has tremendous value for them in 2021. The security he provides at the WR position and the extra potency when all weapons are deployed can make this a championship-worthy offense.
If Dallas starts the season well, keeping Gallup becomes even more attractive as the playoffs become real. If the Cowboys struggle early and their postseason participation is looking dicey after Week 8, trading Michael would become a far more logical move.
Another factor in all of this is who moves up the depth chart should Gallup depart. While we’ve seen flashes from Cedrick Wilson and are excited about 4th-round rookie Simi Fehoko, there’s little-to-no evidence at this time that either could fill Gallup’s shoes as the third receiver.
Of course, that too can change over the next few months. If one of those other receivers really shines in July and August then Dallas could feel better about letting Gallup go as soon as final cuts.
The Cowboys may not even be thinking this way. Gallup may be locked in for 2021 and they’re willing to see what happens in free agency next year. Potentially getting a 3rd-round pick back for him as a compensatory, after using a 3rd on him in 2018, would be a fine outcome.
But given his production the last few years, Michael Gallup could demand more in the trade market. If a team dangles a 2nd-rounder in front of the Cowboys as part of a trade package, they’d have a hard time ignoring that offer.
The Coboys would love for Tyler Biadasz to grab the center position and not let go.
Tyler Biadasz, C
The Cowboys need a new starting center after Travis Frederick retired earlier this offseason, and Tyler Biadasz appears to fit the bill. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, then he played in 12 games and made four starts as a rookie last year.
Over the final eight games of the 2020 season, the 23-year-old played only one offensive snap while also missing time due to a hamstring injury. But Dallas is likely going to need him to play a bigger role now due to the vacancy in the middle of its offensive line.
Biadasz has been getting most of the first-team reps at center during OTAs, and tackle La’el Collins compared him to Frederick due to his budding leadership skills.
“He’s figured out just everything he needs to know being the center of the offensive line, making the calls,” Collins said, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “He’s speaking with more confidence. He’s asking the questions that you want a center to ask against different things, adjustments and everything like that, what to do.”
If Biadasz keeps getting better and takes advantage of the opportunities he’s likely to get, he could quickly develop into a key anchor for the Cowboys’ offensive line with a strong 2021 season.
Leighton Vander Esch is a veteran with something to prove.
“I’ve been really impressed, not just from the OTA time,” said Quinn, the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. “Every once and a while you can just see a person that’s on a mission, and I think that’s what I’ve seen from Leighton from the time I arrived. You could just feel the energy and intensity that he’s putting into his workouts to change his body, to get as strong as he could. From then on, the questions, in the meetings, you could feel the urgency to go.
Dan Quinn: It’s Been A Fun Process
“I guess, just a quick story for him: the tackling. ‘Hey, I want to improve on this spot.’ The work that we did and the techniques to do it. It’s been so impressive to see him find little things to work on over and over again to complete his game. He’s been very impressive to me so far.”
Quinn says he’s been impressed with the leadership from all the veteran linebackers – Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and free agent addition Keanu Neal – helping rookie draft picks Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox get acclimated to their first NFL offseason program.
The rookie needs to get acclimated quickly if he is going to grab a big role in the defense.
“Right now I’m building that confidence, and I think I’m starting to get the older guys’ attention and their belief in me. So once I get their belief and keep building up my own confidence, I think the sky is the limit for myself and this team.”
Following Dallas’ rookie minicamp, Cox was asked of his first impressions of Parsons.
“Definitely very mature,” Cox said. “He’s ready to work. He’s not scared of competition and I think we’re going to make each other better — him pushing me and me pushing him. So I can’t wait to get things rolling and he’s one of those guys that he’s really going to be great for a long time.”
As for Cox, the No. 115 overall pick in the draft only spent one season at LSU after transferring from North Dakota State. In 10 games in 2020, Cox totaled 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three interceptions, five pass breakups, and one touchdown.
BTB Podcast Schedule
- Monday: Jersey Boyz with Dave Sturchio, Bret Ernst, and Keith Ernst
- Tuesday: The 75O with Tony Casillas and RJ Ochoa
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Draft with Connor Livesay, Cole Patterson, and Dalton Miller
- Thursday: Ryled Up with Roy White and Tom Ryle
- Friday: Girls Talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Saturday: Cowboys Hoy with Mauricio Rodriguez
We also offer daily episodes of The Ocho where we give you that day’s latest headlines so that you always stay caught up. The BTB podcast network is available on all major podcast avenues.
You can find your preferred platform right here. Make sure to subscribe, rate the feed, and leave a review! Our latest episode is available in the feed down below.