There is just something different about the week that follows a Cowboys’ Sunday victory. Breathing gets a little bit easier, mental morale is sky high, and each day of the week represents another hopeful climb to that fantastic victorious feeling once again — that is of course, if the team exit the coming weekend with another win.
And while Dallas’ 20-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers was pretty by any means, it still counts as a notch in the W column, and that alone is wholly satisfying.
It took a lot to reach that pinnacle of paradise: a 56-yard Greg Zuerlein moonshot to win the matchup that seemed like it hung suspended in midair for ages. 12 Chargers penalties that stacked up to total 99 yards of lost field position and scores. And Micah Parsons absolutely wreaking havoc on Justin Herbert & crew after filling a much-needed hole at defensive end.
There were so many little things that shifted the needle, from timely takeaways to significant special teams plays.
Some players received more praised than others, and while these guys’ efforts are not predicated upon what we have to say about them, it’s nice to give credit where credit is due. Let’s pass out some flowers.
3. Damontae Kazee
Damontae Kazee is not a stat-stuffing machine by any means. He plays a good number of snaps (52 in Week 1, 67 in Week 2), but his numbers don’t necessarily jump out at you when you delve through them.
But boy, does he impact the game in invaluable ways. Kazee came up with a crucial forced fumble in Week 1 against Tampa Bay, and Sunday, his third quarter interception in the red zone interception stuffed what was a delicately-woven drive by L.A., removing at least 3 (perhaps 7) points off the board.
Damontae Kazee intercepts the pass in the end zone #DallasCowboys— NFL (@NFL) September 19, 2021
: #DALvsLAC on CBS
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/w7iVuEl5fG
Dallas’ ensuing field goal on the next drive put the team up 17-14. We know what happened from there. Those critical three points will go to Kazee’s name for his tide-turning save.
2. Jayron Kearse
Jayron Kearse has been commendable thus far for the Boys. Amidst a depleted secondary troupe following Donovan Wilson’s injury, Kearse’s role has become that much more pertinent.
He’s done nothing but ball out.
After registering eight total tackles in the team’s opener, he recorded six stops Sunday (five individual, one combined) including one tackle for a loss, a quarterback hit, and pass deflected.
And he did so while exhibiting exemplary stamina — staying on the field for 97% of the unit’s snaps. Kearse was originally signed for depth purposes, his role is quickly developing into something far greater.
1. Trevon Diggs
Trevon Diggs is clearly the best corner the Cowboys employ.
And he’s briskly speeding on the fast track to become one the top cover men in the league.
Diggs’ two interceptions this season (one in each game) are 33% of his squad’s league-leading six total takeaways. And he’s been matched up against both of his opponents’ best receiver.
Make a play on the ball, @TrevonDiggs #DallasCowboys— NFL (@NFL) September 19, 2021
: #DALvsLAC on CBS
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/2zlKTcglAl
He’s taken on the challenge with no hesitation.
Diggs added six solo takedowns and parried off another pass to go with his INT, as he remained on the field for every defensive snap.
#7 continues to prove he’s worthy of the top corner’s spot on the depth chart, and if he keeps making plays like he has been, Dallas will be infinitely better because of it.