Orignally published on 2022-01-07 20:48:17 by www.espn.com
Diggs is sick, although he tested negative for COVID-19, and will not make the trip to Philadelphia. He had been questionable. Anthony Brown, who has started every game, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week.
Diggs is the first player in the past 40 years to record at least 11 interceptions, joining former Cowboy Everson Walls, who accomplished the feat in 1981. With Diggs and Brown out, the Cowboys will likely start rookie Kelvin Joseph, a second-round pick, and potentially Maurice Canady, with Jourdan Lewis remaining in his slot role. He returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown in the first meeting against the Eagles in September.
The Cowboys also ruled out starting safety Jayron Kearse, who has a hamstring injury, and running back Tony Pollard, who has been dealing with a foot sprain. Safety Donovan Wilson, who is also sick, did not fly with the team to Philadelphia but has yet to be ruled out.
At the start of the week, coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys would play their starters against the Eagles, even though they would need losses by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams to move into the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, plus a win against Philadelphia. If the Cowboys finish in a three-way tie with the Buccaneers, Rams or Arizona Cardinals, they would take the second seed based on conference record.
In all likelihood the Cowboys will remain the No. 4 seed and will match up against either the Cardinals, whom they lost to last week, or the Rams.
Given the roster configuration, McCarthy could choose to spot-play his starters or regulars against the Eagles and go with backups for a good portion of the game.
McCarthy was confident the players currently on the COVID-19 list, including Brown and left tackle Tyron Smith, who will also not play Saturday, will be available for the first round of the playoffs.