The Cowboys will be undermanned in their regular season finale in Philadelphia against the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Earlier this week Anthony Brown was placed on the COVID list. On Saturday it was reported Trevon Diggs would also miss the game with illness. (Tony Pollard and Jayron Kearse will also be out while Donovan Wilson is still questionable).
CB Trevon Diggs (illness), S Jayron Kearse (hamstring) and RB Tony Pollard (foot) will not travel with the team to Philadelphia, and all have been ruled out for the game.— Dallas Cowboys Public Relations (@DallasCowboysPR) January 7, 2022
S Donovan Wilson (illness) is not traveling with the team but remains questionable.
Cowboys S Donovan Wilson (illness) is also not traveling with team, but there is a chance he could join club in Philadelphia. His status remains questionable.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 7, 2022
With Diggs and Brown not traveling to Philly, Dan Quinn will need to work his magic yet again down two starting corners, and one of his safeties in Jayron Kearse. It’ll be all eyes on rookie second-round pick Kelvin Joseph who will get starting duties on the outside in place of Trevon Diggs.
Joseph saw his first real game action on defense against the Washington Football Team, in which he played 95% of the defensive snaps in the blowout victory. In the 56-14 win, Joseph gave up -2 receiving yards on five targets, and also had two passes defended in the win. Joseph showed well in his first start of the season, and has played really well in his limited action in his rookie year. With Joseph on one side, it will be interesting to see if Quinn bumps Jourdan Lewis to the opposite side, or if he rolls with Nahshon Wright or Maurice Canady and leaves Lewis at his natural position in the nickel.
Wright has played just 17 snaps on defense this year (under 2% of the total snaps), and Canady is more of a nickel player who has also only played 54 snaps on defense this year (just over 5% of the total snaps) due to missing most of the season with a concussion. While being without Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown is less than ideal, it isn’t a total backbreaker due to the depth this Cowboys team has at cornerback in 2021. While Week 18 doesn’t look like the divisional matchup many had hoped for a couple weeks ago, due to both teams missing players with COVID and injury (and resting players for playoffs), it will be exciting for Cowboys fans to get a deeper look at their second-round and third-round pick from 2021, as well as other depth pieces in the secondary.