By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs tore the ACL in his left knee in practice Thursday, a major setback for a defense off to a great start in 2023.
The team said an MRI confirmed the ACL tear and that while there was no timetable for a return, the 2021 All-Pro was expected to miss the rest of the season.
Diggs was seen leaving the team’s headquarters on crutches. He had his first interception of the season in last week’s 30-10 victory over the New York Jets.
Diggs is tied for the NFL lead with 18 interceptions since entering the league in 2020.
It’s quite a blow for a defense that has had 10 sacks and seven takeaways without a turnover by the Dallas offense. The plus-seven turnover margin led the NFL through two games.
Dallas (2-0), which visits Arizona (0-2) on Sunday, is just the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 70 points and allow 10 or fewer in the first two games. The Cowboys beat both New York teams by a combined 70-10.
“Saw that I guess a couple of you saw out there on the field,” quarterback Dak Prescott said after practice, not wanting to speculate on the severity of the injury. “Prayers, hoping for the best, simple as that.”
Diggs signed a $97 million, five-year contract extension at the start of training camp. The Cowboys drafted the former Alabama player in the second round in 2020.
Diggs, who tied a franchise record with 11 interceptions in 2021, was off to a strong start in his first season with 2019 AP Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore starting on the opposite side.
Through two games, Diggs had an NFL-best 1.0 passer rating against when targeted.
Diggs is the second starter to get injured in practice since the regular season started. Left guard Tyler Smith injured a hamstring before the opener and is expected to make his season debut Sunday at Arizona.
Without Diggs, second-year player DaRon Bland is the likely starter opposite Gilmore with Jourdan Lewis playing in the slot. Lewis made his 2023 debut last week after missing most of last season with a broken foot.
Noah Igbinoghene, a 2020 first-round pick by Miami, is another option after joining the Cowboys in a preseason trade.