The math is really simple, the Dallas Cowboys have created one turnover in two games this season. They have turned the ball over four times. Their turnover margin is -3, which as we know, is bad. The biggest factor in determining wins and losses in the NFL is turnover margin and in the past few years, the Cowboys have been very poor at turning teams over.
The Cowboys knew they had to improve their ability to cause turnovers, it’s one reason they traded up to draft Morris Clairborne. He was considered the best ball hawking corner to come out of the draft in the past few years. As we also know, they brought in Brandon Carr to help and he is coming off a career high four interceptions last year. With the addition of these two cornerbacks, the Cowboys felt they could put more pressure on the quarterback without as much blitzing and have guys like Claiborne and Carr pick off hurried throws.
It hasn’t worked out that way so far. They have no interceptions and their best shot at one was dropped by Bruce Carter last week at the goalline. The only turnover the Cowboys do have is a fumble caused by Sean Lee and recovered by Barry Church. That’s been it.
We often talk about the explosive Cowboys offense and that it wasn’t around last week against the Seattle Seahawks, but I was expecting more of an explosive defense and that hasn’t shown up yet either. They were solid in week 1 and pushed around in week 2. Where’s the swagger on defense? Where is the attacking, aggressive Rob Ryan defense we’re used to seeing? The back end of the defense has been shored up and we’ve been told they have better communication so let’s see the exotic blitzes and the chaos Ryan’s creative defense is designed to cause.
Creating turnovers will also give the Dallas offense extra possessions which can lead to DeMarco Murray’s physical style of running wearing down the defense. We saw that last week with Marshawn Lynch; heck we used to see it all the time with Marion Barber. The key is getting the turnovers and the Cowboys need to create more.
One turnover every other game is not a winning formula and the Cowboys know it. Turnovers need to be a big priority, not just this Sunday, but for the rest of the season as well.
you can follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi