Why losing top CB may not be as big a blow to Dallas’ defense as it seems - Garrett Podell, CBSSports.com
Dallas is uniquely equipped to survive losing its star corner, Podell explains.
While losing a Pro Bowl, All-Pro-caliber cornerback would be catastrophic for most teams, the Cowboys are uniquely equipped to weather the storm caused by Diggs’ season-ending injury. The two reasons why their Super Bowl hopes can remain alive without Diggs is because of their their NFL-best pass rush — powered by two-time First-Team All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons and three-time Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence — and strong depth at the cornerback position.
Diggs being ruled out for the season is a nightmare come to life for the Cowboys, but they have the pieces currently in place to continue fielding one of the NFL’s best defenses and maintain hope in all of their 2023 season goals going forward.
Absolute gut punch, but this Cowboys team separates itself from others with plenty of secondary depth.
Losing Diggs hurts, but it doesn’t sink the Cowboys, or this defense. Dallas has one of the deepest secondaries in the NFL, led by Diggs but with a solid mix of veterans and young talent.
The Cowboys can now thank their stars they traded for CB Stephon Gilmore in the offseason, because his acquisition just got even bigger. Gilmore’s age is a bit of a concern, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down in the last year with the Indianapolis Colts, or in the early going with the Cowboys. Now the No. 1 CB for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Gilmore is still one of the better CBs in the game. Dallas is in good hands.
Second-year CB DaRon Bland and veteran CB Jourdan Lewis now move up the depth chart and will play bigger roles. Bland had five interceptions as a rookie and already has a pick-six to start this year. Lewis is just returning from his foot injury suffered in the 2022 season, but expect him accelerate his snaps moving forward. The veteran out of Michigan has been one of the better slot CBs in the league during his tenure, and that’s anticipated to be his role once again.
Cards have enjoyed recent success against the Cowboys. Vegas doesn’t believe that trend will hold - Associated Press, David Brandt
Even through Thursday’s unfortunately news, still got a game on Sunday to focus on.
The hardest challenge for the Cowboys at this point might be staying humble, though players and coaches say that won’t be a problem.
“We’re 2-0 because of execution and how we prepared,” linebacker Micah Parsons said. “That’s why we’re 2-0. We’re not 2-0 because of anything else. It’s just remember what’s our process, where are we at in our process.”
Even though the Cardinals are winless, it’s been a somewhat encouraging two weeks for a franchise that’s rebuilding under first-year coach Jonathan Gannon. Arizona has lost two tight games. The Cardinals built a 28-7 lead against the Giants last week before a second-half collapse and a 31-28 loss.
Gannon and the Cardinals hope it was just a speed bump in a gradual climb. The Cardinals are in a difficult part of their schedule, with games upcoming against the 49ers, Bengals, Rams, Seahawks and Ravens.
‘I will be back and better’ | Trevon Diggs, NFL players react to torn ACL that has sidelined Dallas Cowboys DB for the season - CBS19, Lidia Herrera
Fully believe Micah Parsons will play every game with Trevon Diggs on his mind,
The Dallas Cowboys’ stellar defense took a huge hit Thursday after the team announced star cornerback Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL during practice and will miss the remainder of the season.
As soon as the news broke, several current and former NFL players took to social media to offer the 25-year-old DB words of support.
I am my brothers keeper! I got you 7! No more need to be said! pic.twitter.com/8ujEMegYuP— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) September 21, 2023
We praying for you @TrevonDiggs please believe me when I say this will make your story better!— Jourdan Lewis (@JourdanJD) September 21, 2023
Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence evolves to more of a ‘leader than go-getter,’ remains key piece of top-ranked ‘D’ - CBS Sports, Garrett Podell
He’s come complete full circle from “the guy” to another one of the guys, and he’s handling it as well as anyone could ask.
For many years, opposing teams facing the Dallas Cowboys defense meant planning how to slow down three-time Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, “The Man” of Dallas’ pass-rush for eight of his first 10 NFL seasons.
However after some back and foot injuries, being on the other side 30 (31 years old) and the emergence of fellow Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons — who is coming off winning his third career NFC Defensive Player of the Week award following Dallas’ 30-10 victory over the New York Jets — Lawrence is at peace with being more of a “leader” for a Dallas defense that is leading the NFL in points allowed (10), takeaways (seven), total yards per game allowed (193.0), yards per play allowed (3.5), red zone touchdown percentage allowed (0%), sacks (10, tied with the Washington Commanders), quarterback pressure rate (63.6%) and passer rating allowed (34.2) entering their Week 3 matchup at the Arizona Cardinals.
“I definitely went through that stage of my life where all the attention was on me, and now it’s all on him [Parsons],” Lawrence said Wednesday after practice. “I feel like he’s handling his success well. I feel like he understands who he wants to be when it’s all said and done. That’s going to take him to the top. I feel like I have handled it [the change] well, being able to take a step back with my role changing a little bit. Now they look at me as a leader instead of that go-getter. It’s still in my heart, so I’m definitely going to continue to go get it and keep up with the young buck. We’re going to continue to grind.”
A look at how Aubrey ended up in Dallas.
June 11 was a hot day at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel remembers it well. The Birmingham Stallions of the USFL were playing the Houston Gamblers. In what he described as “a little bit of a stealth operation” set up by Cowboys vice president of player personnel Will McClay, Fassel went to watch the game.
Actually, he was there to watch Brandon Aubrey.
Aubrey was in his second USFL season, both with the Stallions. He got on a lot of evaluators’ radars in his rookie USFL season when he led the league in field goal percentage and extra point percentage (minimum 20 attempts) en route to All-USFL honors. The Stallions won the USFL championship in 2022 and repeated in 2023. Aubrey’s excellence also repeated in 2023, as he converted 91 percent of his field goal attempts and 100 percent of his extra points.
His USFL resume speaks for itself but Fassel was impressed by what he saw up close in person on that hot day in mid-June. Fassel even made it a point to go down to the field before the game, not wearing any Cowboys gear, and watching Aubrey operate.
“I might have snuck down to the field and got a closer feel for the sound of it, the look of it,” Fassel said.
The Cowboys signed Aubrey less than a month later.
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