Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs challenges PFF’s over his 2021 season

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·11 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

With the recent release of EA Sports Madden’s ratings for their latest money grab, err, edition of the game, the talk of player rankings hit its apex in recent days. Without any licensed NFL competition, Madden’s annual reset has lost its luster from the iconic status it held during the 1990s and 2000s, but continues to be the only avenue for fans to compete with their favorite teams. With multiple generations of said fans growing up with skunk rules and trash talking, it still has a strangle hold on the simulation community despite failing to be revelatory in any meaningful way over the last decade.

Still, their ratings release moves needles and 2022 is no different. They’ve released positional top 10s on a daily schedule and Thursday was the cornerbacks turn, with a list that did not include 2021 interception leader, second-year Dallas Cowboys star Trevon Diggs. The cornerback room is crowded but not including a player with 11 picks is a questionable understanding of NFL talent levels and Diggs seems to believe the confusion has a source, Pro Football Focus.

PFF is a paid service which has a group of data collectors assigned to watch every game in the NFL on a weekly basis. Those data collectors are trained to grade player performance on a -2 to +2 per-play basis and more specifically for cornerbacks, assign responsibility in coverage based on their perceptions. Throughout the season, PFF graders would sometimes assign responsibilities to Diggs other outlets did not. As the 2021 season neared its conclusion, the outlet claimed Diggs reached a negative milestone in his coverage, allowing over 1,000 yards to receivers he was guarding.

That assessment made the rounds across the NFL fan community, a group eager to knock down the accomplishments of an America’s Team star. For all of the love Dallas players get because of their huge fanbase, there are many more who love to have negative things to say about the team and its players.

This isn’t to say that Diggs’s doesn’t have room for improvement. He did give up his fair share of big plays. But the narrative that he was boom or bust and that he gave up as many big plays as he created is rubbish.

This is ground that has been covered before here at Cowboys Wire. PFF says Diggs allowed 1,068 coverage yards. Meanwhile Pro Football Reference says Diggs gave up 907. He was targeted 103 times and gave up 54 receptions and four touchdowns, but also had 11 interceptions, 10 pass deflections and two touchdowns of his own.

The discrepancy in narrative led to creating the ANY/CS metric, adjusted net yards per coverage snap.

It applies a well-respected advanced stat formula used to evaluate QBs and applies it to corners by adding in over of PFF’s objective stats, snaps in pass coverage.

ANYA/CS: Adjusted net passing yards allowed per target = ((Passing Yards Allowed-Return Yardage) + (Passing TDs Allowed – Return TDs)*20 – (INTs)*45)) / (Coverage Snaps)

The formula gives touchdowns and interceptions a yardage value (not decided by me, but by renowned data scientists) and then tallies how well a corner does on a passing play-by-play basis. It incorporates the impact of interceptions; whether the CB dropped to the ground or actually produced yards and points for his team once he got the ball in his hands.

And Diggs shined in this light, ranking fourth overall and sandwiched between New England’s J.C. Jackson and Cleveland’s Denzel Ward.

Ward was ranked No. 4 by Madden, Jackson No. 8.

Now admittedly, coverage isn’t the only aspect of a corner’s game that matters, as run support is vital. But in a league where analysts are constantly decrying how unimportant rushing the ball is, a corner’s value should be heavily dependent on his ability to make plays when thrown at.

Based on his 2021 season, there’s no question that Diggs was one of the 10 best CBs in that regard.

ANYA/CS 2021 CB Rankings

Rk

Player

Tm

Age

Pos

G

Tgts/
Gm

Cvg Snaps

INT

Tgt

Yds Allwd

TD Allwd

Return Yds

Return TDs

ANYA/CS

1

Rasul Douglas

GNB

27

cb

12

5.3

490

5

64

351

2

105

2

0.04

2

Jamel Dean

TAM

25

CB

15

4.4

579

2

66

319

0

6

0

0.39

3

J.C. Jackson

NWE

26

CB

17

6.2

590

8

106

658

3

92

1

0.42

4

Trevon Diggs

DAL

23

CB

16

6.4

679

11

103

907

4

142

2

0.46

5

Denzel Ward

CLE

24

CB

15

5.2

530

3

78

435

4

103

1

0.48

6

A.J. Terrell

ATL

23

CB

16

5.4

571

3

86

417

3

42

0

0.53

7

K’Waun Williams

SFO

30

cb

14

3.5

531

1

49

314

1

4

0

0.54

8

Emmanuel Moseley

SFO

25

CB

11

5.0

495

1

55

318

0

0

0

0.55

9

Levi Wallace

BUF

26

CB

17

4.8

684

2

81

470

2

29

0

0.57

10

Darius Slay

PHI

30

CB

16

5.3

615

3

85

535

3

72

1

0.60

11

Taron Johnson

BUF

25

CB

16

4.3

641

1

69

396

2

4

0

0.60

12

Nate Hobbs

LVR

22

cb

16

3.9

592

1

62

399

1

9

0

0.62

13

Casey Hayward

LVR

32

CB

17

3.3

712

1

56

427

3

0

0

0.62

14

Jalen Ramsey

LAR

27

CB

16

6.1

744

4

98

624

3

41

0

0.62

15

Patrick Surtain

DEN

21

CB

16

6.0

533

4

96

545

3

70

1

0.63

16

Chidobe Awuzie

CIN

26

CB

14

6.5

655

2

91

494

3

42

0

0.64

17

Eli Apple

CIN

26

CB

16

4.9

797

2

78

602

3

50

0

0.65

18

Xavien Howard

MIA

28

CB

16

5.8

642

5

93

614

6

54

1

0.68

19

Adoree’ Jackson

NYG

26

CB

13

5.6

496

1

73

353

2

10

0

0.68

20

Robert Alford

ARI

33

cb

13

4.3

408

1

56

290

3

23

0

0.69

21

Tre’Davious White

BUF

26

CB

11

5.8

403

1

64

328

0

0

0

0.70

22

Patrick Peterson

MIN

31

CB

13

5.8

548

1

76

477

2

66

1

0.70

23

Avonte Maddox

PHI

25

cb

16

4.6

520

1

74

412

1

-1

0

0.75

24

Amani Oruwariye

DET

25

CB

14

5.5

535

6

77

671

4

73

0

0.76

25

Rashad Fenton

KAN

24

cb

14

3.9

422

0

54

322

0

0

0

0.76

26

D.J. Reed

SEA

25

CB

14

6.3

606

2

88

507

3

9

0

0.77

27

Nik Needham

MIA

25

cb

17

3.7

414

2

63

459

0

28

1

0.78

28

Carlton Davis

TAM

25

cb

10

7.0

530

1

70

422

3

25

0

0.78

29

Eric Stokes

GNB

22

CB

16

6.1

669

1

97

511

3

0

0

0.79

30

David Long

LAR

23

cb

16

2.9

437

1

46

374

1

0

0

0.80

31

Chandon Sullivan

GNB

25

cb

17

3.9

613

3

67

560

4

14

0

0.80

32

Kristian Fulton

TEN

23

CB

13

5.5

523

2

72

496

2

13

0

0.83

33

L’Jarius Sneed

KAN

24

CB

15

5.3

661

2

80

585

3

2

0

0.84

34

Cameron Dantzler

MIN

23

cb

14

5.3

433

1

74

349

3

0

0

0.84

35

Logan Ryan

NYG

30

DB

15

3.5

567

0

52

442

2

0

0

0.85

36

Charvarius Ward

KAN

25

CB

13

5.8

584

2

76

511

4

0

0

0.86

37

Mike Hilton

CIN

27

cb

17

5.0

657

2

85

653

4

59

1

0.86

38

Jourdan Lewis

DAL

26

CB

16

4.8

587

3

76

686

3

88

0

0.89

39

Cameron Sutton

PIT

26

CB

16

4.5

684

2

72

617

5

4

0

0.91

40

Chris Harris

LAC

32

CB

14

3.9

454

1

55

406

3

0

0

0.93

41

Kenny Moore

IND

26

CB

17

7.1

655

4

121

763

6

78

0

0.95

42

Brandon Stephens

BAL

24

DB

17

2.4

461

0

41

387

3

0

0

0.97

43

Darious Williams

LAR

28

CB

14

6.6

706

0

92

610

4

0

0

0.98

44

Greg Newsome

CLE

21

CB

12

5.2

410

0

62

383

1

0

0

0.98

45

Brandin Echols

NYJ

24

CB

14

5.4

461

2

75

599

1

50

1

1.00

46

Byron Murphy

ARI

23

CB

16

6.1

583

4

98

731

5

49

1

1.00

47

Steven Nelson

PHI

28

CB

16

4.5

628

1

72

577

5

4

0

1.00

48

Joe Haden

PIT

32

CB

12

4.6

446

0

55

394

3

0

0

1.02

49

Donte Jackson

CAR

26

CB

12

5.6

417

2

67

478

3

21

0

1.02

50

Sidney Jones

SEA

25

CB

16

4.8

447

0

77

419

2

0

0

1.03

51

Jalen Mills

NWE

27

CB

16

4.1

526

0

65

406

7

0

0

1.04

52

Anthony Brown

DAL

28

CB

16

7.6

706

3

122

836

5

45

1

1.04

53

William Jackson

WAS

29

CB

12

5.5

494

2

66

498

6

0

0

1.07

54

Elijah Molden

TEN

22

cb

16

3.8

445

1

61

489

3

2

1

1.08

55

Paulson Adebo

NOR

22

CB

17

5.2

577

3

89

715

5

50

0

1.09

56

Janoris Jenkins

TEN

33

CB

14

6.4

650

1

90

639

6

0

0

1.10

57

Josh Norman

SFO

34

CB

15

4.0

479

1

60

542

4

40

0

1.12

58

Mike Hughes

KAN

24

cb

17

3.6

427

1

61

424

5

0

0

1.12

59

Michael Davis

LAC

26

CB

14

6.1

523

1

86

534

5

0

0

1.13

60

Dont’e Deayon

LAR

27

cb

10

4.5

358

0

45

391

1

0

0

1.15

61

James Bradberry

NYG

28

CB

17

6.8

689

4

115

848

8

19

0

1.17

62

Shaquill Griffin

JAX

26

CB

14

4.7

505

0

66

542

3

0

0

1.19

63

Michael Carter

NYJ

22

cb

15

4.9

472

0

73

551

1

0

0

1.21

64

Ronald Darby

DEN

27

CB

11

6.4

412

0

70

470

2

0

0

1.24

65

Marshon Lattimore

NOR

25

CB

16

6.6

640

3

106

826

7

35

0

1.24

66

Anthony Averett

BAL

27

CB

14

7.2

537

3

101

768

3

21

0

1.25

67

Tyson Campbell

JAX

21

CB

15

5.4

503

2

81

667

3

3

0

1.26

68

Kendall Fuller

WAS

26

CB

16

7.1

649

1

113

805

4

0

0

1.29

69

Xavier Rhodes

IND

31

CB

13

4.7

402

1

61

510

3

4

0

1.30

70

Byron Jones

MIA

29

CB

16

5.6

621

0

90

729

4

0

0

1.30

71

Fabian Moreau

ATL

27

CB

16

5.5

593

0

88

647

8

0

0

1.36

72

Marco Wilson

ARI

22

CB

14

5.3

515

0

74

588

6

0

0

1.37

73

Bryce Hall

NYJ

24

CB

17

6.4

668

0

109

794

7

0

0

1.40

74

Kyle Fuller

DEN

29

cb

16

4.2

477

0

67

553

6

0

0

1.41

75

Tevaughn Campbell

LAC

28

cb

16

3.8

409

0

61

558

1

0

0

1.41

76

Marlon Humphrey

BAL

25

CB

12

7.0

490

1

84

665

6

0

0

1.51

77

Mackensie Alexander

MIN

28

cb

16

4.4

495

0

70

648

5

0

0

1.51

78

Kindle Vildor

CHI

24

DB

17

3.5

472

0

59

598

6

0

0

1.52

List

News and Notes: Just how good are the Cowboys' weapons in 2022?

List

5 positions the Cowboys need to consider adding talent to before Week 1