Why you should cut the Cowboys secondary some slack

Trevon Diggs #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Trevon Diggs #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys secondary has had a challenging start to the season

After the Dallas Cowboys‘ miraculous come-from-behind victory against the Atlanta Falcons this past Sunday, it can be easy to ignore troubling trends. For the Cowboys, those problems include a worrying number of injuries to important players, poor situational coaching decisions, and struggles in the secondary. However, the latter is a product of a young secondary facing talented receiving groups.

Take the Cowboys’ opponent in the season opener, the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams had the fourth-highest passing yards per game in the NFL last season while dealing with injuries to one of their top targets, wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

The Rams host an impressive array of weapons in the passing game that includes wideout Robert Woods, tight end Tyler Higbee, and Kupp. That group would pose problems to even the most sturdy and seasoned secondary’s in the league.

The game against the Falcons was perhaps even more challenging for the Cowboys secondary. Last season the Falcons finished the year with the third-highest passing yards per game, only trailing the Cowboys and the Buccaneers.

The Falcons receiving core includes seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and the newly acquired Hayden Hurst. This group is perhaps one of the only receiving cores more dangerous than the Rams.

Currently, the Cowboys have allowed the ninth-most passing yards per game in 2020 so far. Part of that is due to the struggles the team has had rushing the passer.

The Cowboys’ secondary includes young players like cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who is currently battling a hamstring injury, and rookie corner Trevon Diggs. The youth of the Dallas secondary, which has been tasked with difficult matchups thus far, which has played a role in their early struggles.

This week’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks provides little relief for the Cowboys’ secondary. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP-caliber level early in the season. Through the first two games of the year, Wilson has thrown an impressive nine touchdowns to only one interception.

After this tough stretch of games, the secondary in Dallas will face a competent, but not otherworldly talented Cleveland Browns receiving corps in Week Four and a struggling New York Giants team the week after. The Cowboys’ schedule moving forward should provide some relief for the team’s young secondary.

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The Dallas Cowboys’ secondary has faced an incredibly difficult start to the 2020 NFL regular season. The team’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks this weekend looks likely to continue that trend. However, the group is both young and talented and should benefit from easier matchups in the following weeks.