The Dallas Cowboys will be without the services of a key member of their defensive coaching staff as they travel to the Mile High city for a preseason showdown with the Denver Broncos.
According to a statement issued by the team on Tuesday, Cowboys Secondary Coach/Defensive Pass Game Coordinator Joe Whitt, Jr. will not be traveling with the team to Denver for Saturday’s preseason game, as he tends to a “private health matter.”
Though Whitt has been absent from practice, he has been participating in meetings with both coaches and players
The Cowboys hired Whitt in 2021 to direct the secondary and pass defense. Prior to his arrival in Dallas, the 44-year-old had served in a similar capacity with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020;having worked closely with current Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn. Whitt also worked under head coach Mike McCarthy for ten seasons (2008-2018) with the Green Bay Packers.
Whitt oversaw a dramatic improvement in the Cowboys secondary in his first season with the club. Per NFL.com. Dallas’ pass-defense ranked in the NFL’s top-10 in opponent completions-per-game (21.4 - ninth), completion percentage (59.5% - third) and interceptions (26 - first).
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Most notably, Whitt had a notable hand in helping cornerback Trevon Diggs become one of the best players at his position. Under Whitt’s tutelage, Diggs led the NFL with a franchise-high tying 11 interceptions. Overall, Diggs became the third Cowboy - fifth time - to lead the league in interceptions and the first since Everson Walls in 1985 (nine). Diggs was selected to his first Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors, while leading the team with 21 pass breakups.
Safety Jayron Kearse paced the defense with a career-high 92 tackles during his first season with the team, while Anthony Brown set single-season career-bests in tackles (79), pass breakups (17) and picks (three). Jourdan Lewis proved his versatility to the secondary as well, recording 1.5 sacks and 11 pass breakups - one-of-three defensive backs in the NFL with multiple sacks and double-digit breakups in 2021.
Dallas will partake in their preseason opener against the Denver Broncos on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Empower Field at Mile High.
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