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Turnovers Key to Cowboys Success

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 4: Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli of the Dallas Cowboys on the field during warmups before a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

    Rod Marinelli deserves all the praise he's gotten in recent weeks, both nationally and locally, including on this very blog.

    One thing Marinelli has really stressed and lived by as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator has been the importance of forcing turnovers and how it can mask an average or even bad unit otherwise. Remember, it was at this time last year we were talking about the historic season we'd just witnessed in terms of defensive futility under Monte Kiffin.

    Now, the defense is winning playoff games for this team like it did on Sunday against Detroit, holding the Lions to six points over the final three quarters.

    They've now forced at least one turnover in 16 consecutive games, but guess what? The Packers turn the ball over right around one time per game, and of course, as we all know, Aaron Rodgers hasn't thrown an interception at home since December ... of 2012!

    "Every day we work on stripping the ball, sprinting to the ball and tackling," Marinelli told ESPN Dallas. "We work on it every day of the year. We talk about it every day of the year, and we watch it on film. We grade effort. There’s nothing magical about it. It’s consistency in our approach."

    It's worked very well this year, but it's going to be a whole new challenge on Sunday.