4 plays that shaped the Cowboys’ season-ending loss to 49ers
By Jerry Trotta
1. Awful Trevon Diggs sequence
We have nothing negative to say about Diggs’ coverage. He was hardly heard from Sunday night, just days after locking down Mike Evans. That said, he blew two opportunities to turn this game in the Cowboys favor on the same drive in the third quarter.
The first came on George Kittle’s bobbled catch. Kittle juggled Brock Purdy’s slightly errant pass multiple times before coming down with it. As he bobbled it, Diggs mistimed his tackle and flew right past Kittle, who knew nothing about the oncoming Cowboys defender.
If Diggs even makes contact with Kittle — not even a clean hit — odds are the 49ers tight end drops the ball. Thanks to another lame-duck tackling effort from Diggs (his third or fourth of these playoffs alone), though, Kittle completed the catch and the 49ers picked up a huge 30 yards in the process.
Later in the drive, Diggs flat-out dropped an interception. It wasn’t a tailor made pick — Anthony Barr tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage– but you expect a corner with Diggs’ ball skills to make the play 10 times out of 10. The 49ers scored a touchdown to extend their lead to 16-9 a few plays later.
At the end of the day, Diggs had two chances to make a game-changing play for his team, and he came up small in both circumstances. None was bigger than the dropped interception, though both plays were bad looks for the cornerback, who ultimately had a playoffs to forget.
Honorable mention: KaVontae Turpin’s long return that should’ve went for a touchdown. Turpin welcomed contact around midfield instead of bouncing outside, where he could’e went untouched into the end zone.