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August 30, 2013

It was a nice preseason of takeaways for the Cowboys, but as Will Allen says, 'We haven't won a real game yet'

The Cowboys got a lot done in the preseason on defense, installing a new scheme, putting an emphasis on turnovers that resulted in 10 takeaways and not allowing a touchdown against the starters.

But they did not get everything done, veteran safety Will Allen said.

“We haven’t won a real game yet. You know?” he said after Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Houston Texans. “I mean, that’s not been accomplished. So there’s a lot that needs to be done. There’s a 16-week season and a four-week single-elimination playoff. So there’s a lot that hasn’t been accomplished.”

But the Cowboys apparently did teach themselves to create turnovers. Safeties Barry Church, Jeff Heath and Danny McCray all forced fumbles in the preseason, as did linebacker Sean Lee and defensive tackle Sean Lissemore (albeit with a kick of the foot, not a punch of the hand). Rookies B.W. Webb, DeVonte Holloman, J.J. Wilcox and Xavier Brewer had interceptions.

There might have been more. Holloman almost had a third turnover caused, but a ball he knocked out against Arizona and recovered by Kyle Wilber was overturned on replay. Webb had a near-interception on Thursday against the Texans.

Now will it happen against the Giants and beyond?

“We’ve got to do it every week,” Allen said. “That’s got to be the mentality. That’s going to help us win. That’s our winning edge – being physical and getting turnovers and giving effort. And that’s it. We play like that, that’ll give us a great chance to win a lot of ballgames.

“Yes, we’ve played hard. Yes, we’ve caused turnovers, and that’s something that hasn’t happened here of late. But that’s just a start. We’re just scratching the surface. And that’s how I look at it.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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