Trevon Diggs originally played wide receiver at Alabama, but found his home as a now All-Pro cornerback.
Diggs helped lead a Dallas Cowboys defensive turnaround and also led the NFL with 11 interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl … and now he’s been named the state of Alabama’s 2021 Pro Athlete of the Year.
Said 2020 NFL Draft classmate Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb of Diggs: “We always knew Tre was a dog. Me personally, I did, coming in together and seeing him at Bama. I understand what was going on.
“I knew that Tre was a Pro Bowler or just an All-Pro DB. I look at him as that.”
The league is looking, too. And so is the state of Alabama, where he started at cornerback for the powerful Crimson Tide program.
Diggs emerging as a playmaking” corner is now indisputable. He has goals to be more of a “shut-down corner” for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as well.
Franchise-Tagged Dalton Schultz Skipping OTAs Amid Contract Frustration - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
Dalton Schultz decided to stir up the negotiations of a contract.
Since he received the Cowboys’ franchise tag last March, Dalton saw Cleveland’s David Njoku get a new four-year deal worth about $55 million. With Schultz putting up roughly 700 more receiving yards and double the touchdowns from Njoku the last two seasons, it’s not hard to guess the kind of compensation he’s expecting.
Schultz has been one of the most-productive tight ends in football since taking over as starter in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Blake Jarwin entered the season as the starter but suffered a severe injury in that opener which pulled Dalton into duty.
The Cowboys face two dilemmas in their contract strategy with Schultz. On one front, do they think Dalton brings something special to the position or is a product of their offensive system? How much are they willing to pay if they think the latter?
On the other side, currently there is no proven depth behind Schultz to turn to if he holds out. Third-year prospect Sean McKeon has seen little playing thus far, veteran Jeremy Sprinkle is primarily a blocker, and Jake Ferguson is just a 5th-round rookie.
This may simply be a posturing move by Dalton Schultz and his agent right now when there’s nothing to lose for the player. Next week will be a far greater indicator of just how contentious things are between the Cowboys and the tight end.
Cowboys Rumors: Latest Buzz, Players to Watch at Mandatory Minicamp - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report
The Cowboys haven’t seen a lot from their new receivers in practice yet because of injury, but are willing to wait it out.
Dallas Unlikely to Add Veteran Receiver, Could Consider a Linebacker
While much of the focus over the next few weeks will be on the practice field, fans may also be watching the transaction wire. Now that June 1 has come and gone, free-agent additions won’t count against the compensatory pick formula.
However, it doesn’t appear that Dallas will be diving back into the free-agent pool to help replace Cooper and Wilson in the lineup. instead, according to Rob Phillips of the team’s official website, they’re content with free-agent addition James Washington and rookie Jalen Tolbert.
“They’re excited about Jalen Tolbert and they think James Washington could reach another level with more opportunities than he had in Pittsburgh,” Phillips wrote. “Maybe the Cowboys show some patience there.”
However, Phillips does believe that linebacker could be a “position to watch” as Dallas looks to improve a run defense that ranked 23rd in yards per attempt allowed last season.
Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr could be a specific linebacker for fans to keep an eye on. In a since-deleted tweet, Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported last month that the Cowboys had interest in Barr.
“Free agent linebacker Anthony Barr is a free agent option for the Cowboys, if the price right, per source,” Hill tweeted (h/t Jonathan Adams of Heavy.com).
While Barr may not be a firm target of the Cowboys, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them bring in a veteran linebacker before training camp. As for receiver, Dallas appears poised to first see what it has in its new-look lineup.
Undrafted free agent Markquese Bell has inside path to Cowboys’ 53-man roster - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
Bell’s best plays will likely come when the pads are on in training camp.
The Cowboys rookie safety spent three seasons at Florida A&M. Brandon Sharp, his position coach there, received quality coaching as a Louisville defensive back from 2003 to 2006. Cowboys secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. helped provide it as a young Louisville assistant.
Before the draft, Whitt and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn hosted Bell in Frisco as one of the Cowboys’ official visits from draft prospects.
“As soon as I came here, Coach Whitt was like my coach in college,” Bell said. “We grew together, talked to each other a lot. I felt real comfortable with it. Coach Quinn, the whole coaching staff made me feel like I was part of the team already. It was just like, ‘Why not?’”
Dallas drafted nine players in late April. Bell then became one of 20 rookies who joined as undrafted free agents. Based on what the Cowboys think of Bell, how they invested him and what he has done since, he arguably could be thought of as the draft class’s unofficial 10th man.
Only 53 players can make this roster in September.
However early it may be, Bell is not just firmly in that conversation. He might be a favorite. Continuing to develop on defense and demonstrating his value on special teams can solidify his bid in the months to come.
While the Cowboys decide who will be playing linebacker alongside Micah Parsons, Damone Clark’s rehab will impact their future plans.
What’s next: Sometimes things come strangely full circle. It was actually the Cowboys’ medical staff that discovered the issue with Clark’s neck during his Combine medicals, so it’s safe to say Clark feels a level of comfort with the people in charge of his rehabilitation. Now, the goal will be getting him onto the field as quickly as possible. It’s not going to be an overnight process, but Cowboys officials have raved about Clark’s dedication and business-like approach. Asked about it during draft weekend, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said he “absolutely” thought Clark could be available at some point during the 2022 season.
Bet you didn’t know: The Cowboys are building a reputation for drafting LSU players – particularly defenders. Clark is the fifth LSU defender they’ve spent a pick on in the last 20 years, and the third linebacker — along with last year’s fourth-round pick, Jabril Cox, and 2003 fourth-rounder Bradie James, who went on to play 157 games and make 757 tackles for the team.
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