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December 10, 2013

Church says Cowboys defense has to learn how to overcome bad breaks and play up to its talent

Barry Church said the defense has to learn to overcome circumstances like bitter cold, bad penalties and a lopsided score in order to make plays.

“Once the score gets up so bad,, it’s cold weather – I mean, it’s definitely tough to keep going,” the Cowboys safety said after Monday night’s 45-28 loss in Chicago. “But we got to. As a defense, we just got to create more turnovers and make more plays. We got to help our offense out.”

The Cowboys gave up 490 yards and 33 first downs, and four defensive penalties resulted in first downs – two roughing the passer calls against George Selvie, an unnecessary roughness penalty against Orlando Scandrick and a holding penalty against Brandon Carr that wiped out a Sterling Moore interception.

The turnover would have given the Cowboys the ball at the Bears’ 18 with 8:52 to go in the third quarter, down 27-14.

“Couple things didn’t go our way, couple calls didn’t go our way. Sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles,” Church said. “Had an interception called back – I thought it was a very questionable holding penalty. I don’t know. Things didn’t really go our way. We just got to learn to play better and overcome circumstances.”

Church agreed there were similarities to the Cowboys’ performance in the Saints game, which also snowballed on them. But he said in this game, the defense was more competitive for more of the game.

“I felt the Saints game, they just did what they wanted against us,” Church said. “This team did as well, but I felt like, man, we had them on third-and-longs. They caught a couple passes or a penalty would come up. It was bad ball on all our parts. We just got to learn how to overcome circumstances, and get more takeaways as a defense like we did earlier in the season, and things will start going our way again.”

Church said the talent is there for the Cowboys to be a good defense. He didn’t blame the scheme.

“They ran the things that we practiced during the week,” he said. “We just weren’t able to execute on our looks, and they were able to make plays. We just got to learn to play up to our talent level.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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