DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) - There's an old saying in the NFL that the more you win, the closer you are to losing.
After two dominant victories to open the season, the Cowboys learned that lesson the hard way during practice on Thursday.
No, they didn't lose a game. It could be worse than that.
The ramifications may not be felt Sunday when the 2-0 Cowboys face the 0-2 Arizona Cardinals, who themselves are without their injured franchise Quarterback Kyler Murray and 5-time Pro Bowl Safety Budda Baker.
Instead, the loss of Diggs will more likely be felt the rest of the season.
With the exception of the seemingly incomparable Micah Parsons, you can make the case that no other Cowboys player has been as impactful as Trevon Diggs through the first two regular season games.
Diggs forced two turnovers, including DaRon Bland's pick-six in the season-opening 40-0 win over the Giants, and he registered his 18th career interception in the 30-10 win over the Jets. Pro Football Focus credits Diggs with a remarkable 1.0 passer rating in coverage this season.
Against Arizona on Sunday, the Cowboys will likely move Bland from the starting slot corner to Diggs' starting right corner spot. Veteran Jourdan Lewis is healthy again after suffering a fractured foot last season and should be ready to start in the slot this week. Former Dolphins 1st round draft pick Noah Igbinoghene provides depth after being acquired in a trade for 2021 2nd-round pick Kelvin Joseph in late August.
Even though they've lost their first two games against the Commanders and Giants, Arizona has been surprisingly competitive so far this season. New Head Coach Jonathan Gannon, who was Philadelphia's Defensive Coordinator last year, has his team playing aggressively on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who was acquired in a trade in late August, has filled in admirably on short notice. Veteran James Conner rushed for 106 yards last week as the Cardinals built a 28-7 3rd quarter lead against the Giants. Receivers Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore have 4.3 speed, and rookie 3rd round pick Michael Wilson has impressed in 2 starts.
Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay says Wilson (6-2, 215) reminds him of former Cowboy Miles Austin.
Defensively, the Cardinals make up for a lack of overall talent with an aggressive play style epitomized by undersized edge rusher Dennis Gardeck, who was undrafted out of the University of Sioux Falls six years ago, but who now finds himself tied with Micah Parsons with 3 sacks through two games. Former-1st-round draft pick Zaven Collins looks more comfortable after moving from inside linebacker to an edge rusher role in Gannon's defense.
Even with the loss of Diggs, the Cowboys appear to have the talent and experience to win handily over the Cardinals. However, stranger things have happened in this league. The Cowboys learned firsthand how quickly things can change during practice at The Star on Thursday afternoon.
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