The men that make up the Dallas Cowboys’ defense are looking for more takeaways.
Through four games, the team has a total of three--and all of those came in the victory over the Eagles in Week 2. That’s two consecutive weeks with no turnovers created, a stat that’s made somewhat more disheartening by all the close calls in that span. As ESPN Dallas’s Todd Archer points out, they missed two chances for interceptions against the Falcons, and two against the Saints--three of those missed picks just weren’t caught, and Barry Church’s interception of Drew Brees on Sunday night was negated by a penalty.
Having sifted through all that turnover-less game film, the Cowboys have dedicated themselves to boosting their takeaway totals. But dedicated or not, they’re facing a team this week in the New England Patriots that doesn’t ever give up turnovers. (Okay, they do. But it’s pretty rare.)
The Patriots, of course, are led by Tom Brady, who, along with Aaron Rodgers, is one of two quarterbacks in the NFL who has yet to throw an interception in 2015. The team’s only turnovers to this point are a pair of fumbles. But head coach Jason Garrett knows if the Cowboys have any chance of forcing mistakes from the reigning Super Bowl Champs, the defense will have to tap into that ravenous, opportunistic style of play they used a year ago to finish second in the NFL with 31 takeaways.
"You have to be around the ball, you have to be opportunistic, you have to be punching at it, swiping at it, trying to strip it," Garrett said. "When they throw you one you have to catch it. We had some missed ops in the game. We had some missed ops in positive territory for us that would have given us great field position, so continue to work in those areas."