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October 19, 2012

Cowboys emphasizing takeaways but still rank near bottom of NFL in that area

Among NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys rank next-to-last in takeaways this season (4). Only the Indianapolis Colts have fewer (3), which explains why both teams rank near the bottom of the league in turnover margin, at minus-8.

For the Cowboys, the lack of turnovers created by the defense has been pivotal in carving out a 2-3 record for a team that ranks second in the NFL in total defense, allowing 285.2 yards per game.
Dallas’ lone interception this season came from linebacker Sean Lee. No defensive back has intercepted a pass since Orlando Scandrick, 11 games ago against Washington. They have only two fumble recoveries. Special teams got the third fumble recovery.

But the Cowboys remain confident the turnovers will come. Eventually.

“We’ve just got to keep executing, keep playing hard. The turnovers will come,” said defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. “I know they’re not coming like you guys want them to come and y’all are beating us up on that part of it. But we’ve got to keep playing football. It’s going to come. We’re going to jell. We’re going to take care of the details this week and keep getting better as a defense.”

Coach Jason Garrett said turnover drills have been emphasized in practice this week.

“Those are signature plays in games,” Garrett said. “We talk about that all the time and we emphasize that to our team. We just have to keep banging away at it, and hopefully, like sometimes these things do, they’ll start coming in bunches for us because they’ll make a big difference in how we can win ballgames going forward.”


_ Jimmy Burch

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