Cowboys rival shows why NFL shouldn't sleep on Trevon Diggs after ACL injury

Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) forces a
Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) forces a / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

What made the Dallas Cowboys' playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers all the more infuriating was that they entered the postseason with a healthy roster. With that said, it's still torturous to play the "what if" game regarding the season-ending injuries to Trevon Diggs and Leighton Vander Esch.

Keeping the conversation focused on Diggs, it's fair to question if the Cowboys would've suffered as many busted coverages if Diggs was in the lineup. Perhaps Dan Quinn's game plan would've failed regardless if Diggs or Deion Sanders were playing cornerback, but the point remains: not having Diggs made a huge difference.

If there's a silver lining to Diggs' injury, it's that his 2024 return will provide a monstrous spark to the defense, regardless of who's coordinating the unit. He'll be motivated to remind everyone that he's one of the best DBs in the game.

Some folks haven't forgotten that fact, including Giants rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt, who spoke with FanSided leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl matchup between the Chiefs and 49ers and called Diggs his toughest matchup from his debut campaign.

Giants WR Jalin Hyatt recognizes Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs is elite.

"I’d probably say Diggs. I went against him when we went up against the Cowboys before he got hurt. Just how he plays, you know his eyes are in the backfield, he shadows you wherever you go. When you’re releasing your routes, he’s going to shadow you and he’s going to follow you. He’s a long corner with long arms as far as how he’s built.”"

Jalin Hyatt

As a former Tennessee wide receiver, Hyatt is no stranger to stacking up against Alabama cornerbacks. Unfortunately, Hyatt and Diggs never crossed paths in college. Hyatt's first year as a Volunteer was in 2020, which ironically is when Diggs got drafted by the Cowboys in the second round.

Hyatt's praise is a great reminder that Diggs was playing at an All-Pro level before his knee injury. Having just signed a five-year, $97 million extension before the season that made him one of the game's highest-paid cornerbacks, Diggs was out to prove to everyone that he was worthy of the contract.

Sure, he only played two games, but Diggs was on a Defensive Player of the Year trajectory. The 25-year-old allowed two catches on eight targets for 26 yards, as well as a 1.0 passer rating (not a typo), per Pro Football Focus. He notched an interception, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups, including a thunderous hit on Saquon Barkley that dislodged a pass and led to one of DaRon Bland's five pick-sixes.

Let Hyatt's words serve as a reminder -- or a warning -- that Diggs is going to come back from this injury with a vengeance.

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