Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is one of the best in the business. Some would argue that he is, in fact, the best receiver in the NFL. If you watched the game on Monday night then you know how involved he can be in the L.A. offensive game plan. Kupp was targeted an insane 19 times in his team’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, by far the most targets with Matthew Stafford under center for the Rams.
We do not know exactly how the Dallas Cowboys will handle Kupp during their matchup on Sunday afternoon, but it is obviously Trevon Diggs will have a lot to do with it. The national narrative around Diggs has aged a bit poorly early on this season as he is emerging as a true shutdown corner as opposed to one who “just” has a lot of takeaways.
This Sunday offers a chance for him to put one of the biggest feathers possible in his hat.
Sunday is a prime opportunity for Trevon Diggs to continue his stellar season
Football Outsiders has the Cowboys defense as the fifth-best team in the league by DVOA against receivers, although that number dips to eighth-best against number one receivers specifically. But a big reason for that success has been the play of Diggs early on in his third NFL season.
Diggs “only” has two interceptions through four games this season, but he leads the NFL in passes defended with nine. Given the success that Dallas has had against receivers, specifically top flight ones, and that Diggs is having a heavy hand (no pun intended) in all of that, a matchup against Cooper Kupp is the perfect opportunity for him to continue his revenge tour.
It is fair to consider Kupp the best wide receiver in the NFL currently. There are arguments for other pass-catchers but it is widely agreed that Kupp is, at the very least, in the conversation. His production since Stafford took over as the Rams quarterback is insane, and during my conversation with Kenneth Arthur from Turf Show Times this week, he said something about Kupp that sounded insane but is obviously true (Kenneth doesn’t lie!). You can watch our whole conversation below, by the way.
Cooper Kupp has played 21 games since his team acquired Matthew Stafford (talking regular season here, obviously they won the Super Bowl last year ago). He has gone for fewer than 100 yards on only seven occasions and had less than 90 yards only twice. Incidentally, both of those games came against the Arizona Cardinals, one of them just two weeks ago when he “only” had 44 (the Rams won the game which is ultimately what matters the most).
Generally speaking the Rams find a way to get Kupp involved, particularly in games where they are getting blown out as evidenced by Monday night. This isn’t exactly “garbage time” production from him but more of an empty calories sort of situation. Still, though, he can be expected to produce and produce at an incredibly high rate.
Consider that through four weeks this season Kupp has 54 targets. He has caught 42 of them which leads the league by a wide margin (Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs and Miami’s Tyreek Hill are tied for second at 31 each). The next-highest target total by a receiver on L.A.’s team is only 18 for Allen Robinson (to be fair tight end Tyler Higbee has 38).
The Cowboys (and anyone) can expect the Rams to be the ‘Cooper Kupp Show’ which is the reason why it makes sense to make sure Trevon Diggs has his eyes on him at all times. If Diggs is able to mitigate Kupp, then it likely means that Dallas has found a high level of success and that Diggs’ stock continues to rise with regards to the perception around him.
To be clear, Diggs gaining popularity or credit is not the most important thing for the Cowboys defense, but we are always rooting for players on the team to be shown proper love. There are many who have taken every chance to criticize Diggs over the last year, and so far this season they have all been forced to be rather quiet.
If Sunday in Los Angeles goes one particular way, they may not be heard from for a very long time.