OXNARD, Calif. — “What day is it?” Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs half-jokingly asked reporters on the first day of training camp.
Maybe it’s just a mid-week slump, but the last 72 hours have been an emotional whirlwind for Diggs.
“I was crying on my way to Oxnard,” he said about his trip to Southern California.
But those were happy tears.
The Cowboys announced on Tuesday that Diggs agreed to a five-year extension that’s worth up to $100 million. He’ll become the fourth-highest paid cornerback in the league with his new deal and the highest-paid defensive back in Cowboys history.
“I think the Cowboys trust in what I bring to the table, what I bring to the field,” Diggs said on Wednesday. “I trust what I bring to the table, what I bring to the field, so I feel like we’re on the same page.”
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The former Alabama star set multiple career highs in the 2022 season, including 59 combined tackles in Dallas’ second straight 12-5 season. He’s been a staple to the Cowboys’ secondary, starting in 47 out of the 48 games in which he’s played. The 24-year-old already has two Pro Bowl selections and one first-team All-Pro accolade to his name, with 11 interceptions during the All-Pro season.
While his pockets will be a bit fuller, the expectations for Diggs remain the same. And he’s well aware.
“Money isn’t everything, you know,” he said. “At the end of the day, you still gotta go out there and perform. They give contracts to guys all the time. And guys don’t perform sometimes.”
To be at his best, Diggs is turning to teammate and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. The 32-year-old cornerback is best known for his four seasons with the New England Patriots, where he earned his DPOY award in 2019.
“I just feel like he’s very professional,” Diggs said about Gilmore. “Just how he goes about his work, it’s like rubbed off on me. He’s waking up at 6 o’clock every day. So now I want to wake up at 6 o’clock every day and go get a workout with him.”
If Diggs wants to play as long as he can, he’d do well to continue following Gilmore’s guidance, especially when it comes to diet. According to Diggs, the older cornerback doesn’t even eat gummy snacks.
“Everything he does, he’s doing the right way,” Diggs emphasized.
Although he knew Gilmore before they were teammates, Diggs’ access to him is that much better now with the Cowboys. Diggs used to send Gilmore tape for feedback and critiques, but now he gets to watch the five-time Pro Bowl selection work up close and in-person.
And Gilmore doesn’t seem to have any doubts about Diggs’ ability to live up to the hype.
“They pay you because you’re playing good football,” Gilmore said about Diggs’ extension. “Just keep doing what you’ve been doing.”