There was much speculation during the week leading up to the contest against the Carolina Panthers on whether cornerback Trevon Diggs would be able to continue his hot streak of interceptions.
Diggs settled the conversation with a two INT performance that makes him the all-time Cowboys leader for consecutive games with a takeaway. Diggs has at least one interception in each of the four games this season and is on pace to shatter the Cowboys’ season record and possibly the NFL record.
Diggs was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Month last week, and everything he did against Carolina indicates that he may be headed toward a Pro-Bowl year in his second season. On Sunday, Diggs surpassed Cowboys’ defensive end, Emerson Walls, when he recorded his fifth interception in only four games. Walls holds the Cowboys record for single-season interceptions, recording 11 during his rookie season in 1981.
Diggs is not yet satisfied with his on-field performance, a work ethic that his fellow players and coaches view as one reason for his dominance through these first four games.
“I expect more from myself. I just have to keep fighting, keep working and keep pushing,” Diggs said following the game. “I feel like I still have work to do.”
One reason Diggs keeps pushing himself is to keep a promise he makes to his young son Aaiden who became a minor celebrity in his own right while showing off his touchdown dance moves on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Diggs’ young son told his father before the teams’ Week 3 matchup that he wanted an interception and a touchdown. Diggs gave it to him in spectacular fashion. As long as Aaiden keeps asking for turnovers, Cowboys fans will be happy to watch Diggs keep his promises.
“He said he wanted another interception,” Diggs said. “I gave him one. Well, actually, I gave him two.”
There are several remarkable facts about Diggs’ performance this season. The quarterbacks he has faced (and picked off) are not bottom-tier QBs. Diggs’ first interception of the year came against Tom Brady, who is considered one of the most gifted players in the position. Week 2, it was Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert that Diggs took advantage of. Jalen Hurts, while a rookie with plenty of room to grow, gave up the pick-six Aaiden had asked for.
Darnold has had his issues with tossing interceptions with a 50-42 career TD to INT ratio. Though this is not a stellar stat line, he had thrown only one interception during the season leading up to the game against the Cowboys last weekend.
Diggs needs just one interception this week against rival New York Giants to set the NFL record for most interceptions in the first five games of the season. Tom Morrow, who played for the Oakland Raiders, recorded an interception in eight consecutive games in 1962.
The all-time single-season interception record is held by Dick “Night Train” Lane, who recorded 14 INTs in 1952. Diggs is on pace for 20 interceptions this season unless quarterbacks start avoiding passes to his side of the field.