Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs is having one of the best seasons for a defensive back in league history. His latest accolade came on Sunday Night Football as he intercepted a deep bomb from Taylor Heinicke intended for Terry McLaurin on Washington’s very first play from scrimmage.
It was a bad omen for Washington, as Diggs’ 11th pick on the year (tied for the most in franchise history) would be the beginning of one of the biggest losses WFT has ever endured at the hands of Dallas (56-14).
After the game, Diggs took note of his reaction when he saw Heinicke eyeing his assignment, McLaurin, on the very first play.
"Yeah. I was in my feelings,” Diggs said. “I felt like, ‘Wow, they really just did that.’ So it gave me a little bit more to go out there and just put on my best.”
Even Heinicke took note of the interception, admitting that his ball could've been thrown a bit better.
"The first play of the game, it was unfortunate. You want to take a shot and the ball was just too flat; it needed to be a little higher. If it was further, I think [Terry McLaurin] would have had a better shot at it," Heinicke said.
Diggs, just in his second year out of Alabama, wasn’t the only one who was proud of his performance under the bright lights of SNF. Quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished with a mind-numbing 330 passing yards and four touchdowns, was also surprised by WFT’s strategy of targeting Diggs.
"Why would you try him on the first play? But I hope they continue to do that," Prescott said postgame. "At that point, we've got things rolling and we never looked back."
All eyes were on the McLaurin-Diggs matchup heading into Sunday, as many thought that the winner of that battle would be the catalyst for a victory for their side.
But Week 16 was the second time on the year Dallas faced Washington. The first time, just two weeks ago in Landover, had equal anticipation.
Before their first meeting, which Dallas would also win 27-20, McLaurin said of Diggs: "I think he's a really good player. I thought that last year as well. One of the things I liked about his game is he's really competitive. I'm a competitive person, too. So it makes for a fun game."
Diggs would offer the same compliments to McLaurin.
The Diggs-McLaurin matchup has been raging for two full seasons now. Last year, McLaurin got the better of his enemy for the most part, including on a 52-yard touchdown heave.
This season has been quite the opposite—Diggs has blanketed Washington’s WR1. In two games against the Cowboys, with Diggs as his usual cover-man, McLaurin only has three catches for 40 yards, none of which came in the first game.
As Washington looks for a miraculous turn of events which could gift them a playoff berth, McLaurin himself will look to increase his production. WFT’s next matchup is this coming Sunday as they host the Eagles.