Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper saw the historic potential of Trevon Diggs a long time ago

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy had four interceptions for cornerback Trevon Diggs that day.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper remembers it differently.

“No, he had more than four,” Cooper said. “He had about five or six.

Quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t sure about any of this.

“I don’t know about four,” Prescott said. “As a quarterback you advance quickly, so I don’t necessarily remember two years ago in training. But he finished the day with two interceptions. These two were [against] I’ll give him that – two, two minutes by car.

Barring a thorough video review of the practice, the exact figure may become a matter of folklore. But late in training camp entering Diggs’ 2020 rookie season, there is unanimous agreement that Diggs foreshadowed what was to come.

He now has two games to set a new franchise record for most regular season interceptions. Last Sunday against Washington, he tied former Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls’ 11 mark. Diggs is the first NFL player since Walls in 1981 to reach 11 interceptions.

Lost in the shuffle against Washington, Diggs also made his mark off the field.

A video in which Diggs spotlighted Breakfast Brothers, an Arlington restaurant, was shown inside AT&T Stadium in the Cowboys’ 56-14 win.

At the end of the video, the restaurant owner was surprised by a $ 25,000 grant from Pepsi, which pledged to support local black-owned restaurants as part of its “Dig In” initiative.

The more Diggs establishes his impact on the pitch, the more range he has.

“It’s funny because I never really imagined myself doing something like that,” Diggs, 23, said of community outreach. “I never really thought about it until my second year. I became old. I have become more mature. I just started to see it differently. It was a good start, a great opportunity to do things like that and help. Now that I’ve done it, I want to do it more. It’s always good to see people who are happy and smiling.

While there is disagreement, Diggs having four interceptions in a single summer practice last year appears to be the consensus.

This number matches the memory of not only McCarthy but also Maurice Linguist, who was Diggs’ secondary coach that year before the team and he broke up. The linguist offered corroboration when reached by phone on Friday.

It also matches Diggs’ general recollection.

“It was the very last day of camp of my rookie year,” said Diggs. “It was our last training. I was just like, ‘I’m going to put everything aside on the pitch so I can try to win this starting position.’ I just went there with that mindset. I need to do something. They need to see, so they will know.

Prescott remembers his own state of mind that day.

He wanted to test Diggs.

“I went to see him all through camp,” Prescott said.

“It was a little up and down, back and forth. I’ve had a few plays, and he’s had a few plays. The receivers made some captures. He has made great incompleteness. But that day I was planning on going after him and trying to get him to do a few double hits, trying to use his aggression against him.

“And just the way he played it – yeah that’s when I gave him his credit and I said, ‘You know what, we have a shining star on this side of the pitch. . It’s special to have.

The Cowboys drafted Diggs in the second round with a solid understanding of his ball skills.

Beyond the bloodlines of having a Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs of the Bills as an older brother, Diggs was a wide receiver when he first entered the Alabama campus. This understanding of route concepts made him a more instinctive cornerback. He systematically attacked the ball in the air like a catcher.

Having said that, it’s one thing to compile a player’s scouting report and research their history.

It’s another for a rookie to resume training.

“As I told the whole team that day,” said McCarthy, “I’ve never seen a rookie in all my years train like this, especially in the two biggest spells of competition of the day. I think that was definitely a prelude to what was to come. I hope he continues because he is a special player.

Make history

Trevon Diggs is tied with Everson Walls for the Cowboys franchise record for interceptions in a season with 11. With one more interception, Diggs will set the franchise record and tie for the fifth time in the season. history of the NFL. Here’s a look at the players with 12 or more steals in season:

Rank Player INT Year Team
1. Night train track 14 1952 LA Rams
2. Lester hayes 13 1980 Oakland
Dan Sandifer 13 1948 Washington
Spec. Sanders 13 1950 New York Yankees
5. Jack Christiansen 12 1953 Detroit
Don Doll 12 1950 Detroit
Fred glick 12 1963 Houston
Paul krause 12 1964 Washington
Woodley lewis 12 1950 LA Rams
Bob nussbaumer 12 1949 Chicago
Dainard Paulson 12 1964 New York Jets
Mike Reinfeldt 12 1979 Houston
Emmitt thomas 12 1974 Kansas City

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Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) falls on Arizona Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams (87) as linebacker Keanu Neal recovers a fumble in the first quarter of a football game in the NFL at State Farm Stadium on Friday August 13, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona.

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