3 Cowboys named to top-25 list of players under age 25
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the better rosters in the NFL, with depth and talent on both sides of the ball. They also boast a young core of elite playmakers at the most important positions. It puts the club in an enviable postion heading into the 2023 season as they have veteran leadership from players on rookie contracts.
In their annual list of top 25 players under the age of 25 years old entering the 2023 NFL season, Pro Football Focus recognizes the gifts Dallas has put together, including three members of the Cowboys. It’s a testament to the franchise’s ability to identify and draft great players, while also developing them into stars.
The Cowboys were one of just two teams to have three players land on the top 25 list. The players mentioned on the list for Dallas shouldn’t be a surprise and they’re the core of the future for the team.
Micah Parsons (1st overall)
Dec 18, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) celebrates a sack during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
The ridiculously talented Parsons came in first overall on the list. Parsons turns just 24-years old later this month and has 26.5 sacks over his first two seasons while not being a full-time edge rusher.
Here’s what PFF had to say about Parsons taking the top spot:
1. EDGE MICAH PARSONS, DALLAS COWBOYS
Parsons followed up a stellar rookie season with yet another great year as a pass rusher. His 92.0 pass-rush grade and 23.4% pass-rush win percentage in 2022 were just slightly behind his 93.0 pass-rush grade and 24.8% pass-rush win percentage from the previous season, but he maintained those high numbers while playing 281 more pass-rush snaps in 2022. He’s already one of the most impactful players in the league, young or old.
That’s high praise for Parsons, but warranted. He’s already one of the best players in the league, on either side of the ball.
CeeDee Lamb (9th overall)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Lamb got his shot at the Cowboys’ No. 1 WR, and he didn’t disappoint in 2022. The recently turned 24-year-old Lamb broke out with his best season catching 107 passes for 1,359 yards and nine scores. In his first three seasons, Lamb has 260 catches, for 3,396 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns, with 22 total scores.
9. WR CEEDEE LAMB, DALLAS COWBOYS
Lamb has been an immediate impact player for the Cowboys since they drafted him in 2020. He recorded just under 1,000 receiving yards in his rookie years and has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in each of the past two seasons. His receiving grade has increased rapidly, from 72.6 in 2020 to 84.8 in 2021 and 87.0 in 2022. The only player with more explosive plays of 20 yards or more in the past two years is Justin Jefferson.
Lamb ranks ninth on the list, but is the third WR, behind Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson (2nd) and Cincinnati’s Ja’Marr Chase (4th), respectively. That puts Lamb among the top receivers in the game at any age.
Trevon Diggs (25th overall)
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Just sneaking onto the list is Dallas’ best cornerback in Diggs. Diggs is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions over his first three seasons with 17. As one of the biggest ballhawks in the league, Diggs’ prowess to cause turnovers is what lands him on the list.
25. CB TREVON DIGGS, DALLAS COWBOYS
Diggs remains one of the most polarizing players on these types of lists, but he deserves to make the tail end of it. His 11 interceptions in 2021 led the league by a large margin, but, of course, it’s well documented that he allowed more than 1,000 yards in coverage. His coverage grade that season finished at 65.0. This past year, though, he allowed fewer yards against and his coverage grade moved slightly to 67.0. He’s a feast-or-famine type of player, but his talent and ball skills allow him to make major plays.
Diggs came in as the fifth CB on the list, behind Jets CB Sauce Gardner (5th), Denver’s Patrick Surtain (7th), Atlanta’s A.J. Terrell (22nd), and Seattle’s Tariq Woolen (24th). There’s a case that can be made for Diggs to rank higher than Terrell, but the Dallas CB should surely be ranked higher than Woolen, who’s only played one season.
However, that’s quibbling over minor details, Diggs being on the list is a compliment to his talent and performance since entering the league.