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DSF Mailbag: Who’s been more vital to this defense’s success? Diggs or Parsons?

DSF Mailbag: Who’s been more vital to this defense’s success? Diggs or Parsons?

The Dallas Cowboys defense has made a complete 180 from what we saw last year. Micah Parsons seems to be on his way to elite status and Trevon Diggs seems to already be there. But who’s been more vital to this team’s success out of those two?

Juwan: I’m going to go with Trevon. I understand the belief that pass rushers make cornerbacks jobs easier, but it makes it a lot easier to scheme pressure and various looks upfront when your cornerback is making quarterbacks second guess their decision. And when they do try him it’s a turnover. It’s been a few times this season where the Cowboys have gotten sacks due to coverage and Diggs is a large part of that. Added to the fact, this defense hasn’t necessarily shut down opposing offenses. They’ve been successful by consistently forcing turnovers. We saw Tampa Bay and Carolina be able to move the ball on this defense. And in both cases, it was interceptions by Diggs that altered the game.

Nate: I would say Micah Parsons. With as poor as the linebacker play has been in recent memory combined with the injuries to the front seven, Parsons’ contributions have been massively important in turning around the Dallas defense. The Cowboys were consistently blown off the ball and dominated up front, and some of that credit goes to the speed and power Parsons has added to Dallas’ front. Yes, the rest of the personnel has improved, but Parsons’ impact has spread across multiple position groups.

The Cowboys revamped this defense through free agent signings and draft picks. So what was their best offseason move looking back at it?

Juwan: Besides snagging Dan Quinn I think it would be signing Jayron Kearse. The veteran safety is here on a one-year deal worth $1.27 million. Kearse has been one of the key reasons Quinn is allowed to be as versatile he has shown. Strong safety, nickel corner, big nickel linebacker have all been roles we’ve seen the 6’4 safety play. His physicality and coverage ability has been vital cogs to how this defense Is playing.
Nate: There wasn’t really a trade or free-agent acquisition that has made the impact this move has made. The worst unit on this team coming in was defensive tackle, and taking Osa Odighizuwa in the third round has been a smash hit. This was the most shrewd move the front office made. Odighizuwa’s contributions upfront have been massively important, especially with the injury to Neville Gallimore. Odighizuwa presently is second among all rookies (behind Micah Parsons) in pressures with 15 through four games. Odighizuwa has brought an interior force that this team has sorely lacked for years and it appears the Cowboys may have themselves a real star to build around upfront.

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