Week 1 of the NFL season could not have gone any worse for the Dallas Cowboys, falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and losing starting quarterback Dak Prescott for the next several weeks after undergoing surgery on his thumb.
It certainly was not how Dallas envisioned starting the season, but there were positive takeaways from game one of 17.
Prescott is not expected to miss as much time as initially feared, reportedly targeting Week 5 for his return instead of the initial projection of 6-8 weeks.
“We’re ready to play. We’re ready to go out there and everyone step up and execute their jobs,” Cowboys All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. “Help the team win until Dak gets back. Hold down the fort until he gets back. We just have to keep that mindset.
“It’s a long season ahead of us, and he’s going to be back.”
While the offense struggled throughout the week one matchup with the Bucs, it was the defense that kept Dallas in the game.
Tampa Bay had five possessions in the first half, all of which resulted in field goal attempts. Even with Prescott completing just 6 of 15 passes for 52 yards and an interception in the first half, the Dallas D was able to bend and not break, keeping the Cowboys within striking distance.
“We had zero penalties in that game [defensively], so we played penalty-free,” Diggs said when asked to rate Dallas’ defense in Week 1. “We played smart and sound. I think we did pretty good, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s a long season before we get to where we really want to be too and that’s a Super Bowl-level defense.”
With Prescott on the sidelines for at least the next several weeks, the Dallas defense will be expected to carry the load, though Diggs does not see it as added pressure.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it pressure,” Diggs told Fox News Digital. “It’s a standard that we have for ourselves and regardless of Dak is hurt or not we’re going to play that way.”
For Diggs, the 2022 NFL season is a chance to build on a stellar second season in which he led the league in interceptions with 11, tying the Dallas franchise record for most interceptions in a single season.
His sophomore campaign earned Diggs his first trip to the Pro Bowl and a selection as a First Team All-Pro.
Prior to the start of the 2022 season, Diggs was selected by his peers to the NFL’s Top 100 players list, landing at No. 23, three spots ahead of his brother, Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Stefon Diggs.
“We kind of don’t talk about it because we’re still doing it,” Diggs told Fox News Digital when asked if he speaks with his brother regarding the selection. “He’s in his prime, and I’m just getting starting.
“But it doesn’t go unrecognized. We do mix it in and talk about it sometimes. But we always look forward, look at next year, look at what we can do next.”
Their success has led to opportunities off the field, with the brothers getting the chance to work together on their new venture – partnering with SAXX Underwear.
“Every interception that I get, you get 10% off and for every touchdown he scores, you get 10% off,” Diggs said. “So, a pretty cool deal.”
The Cowboys will need every interception Diggs can grab as they attempt to stay afloat without the services of their two-time Pro Bowl quarterback.