The Dallas Cowboys defense was surprisingly solid in 2014, Rod Marinelli’s first season as the team’s defensive coordinator, but that doesn’t mean they were world-beaters by any means.
In fact, from a statistical standpoint the unit was impressive only when held up to their performance in 2013, when they were historically bad.
Dallas finished 20th in the league in total defense, as they surrendered an average of a little over 355 yards a game. They were 18th in scoring defense, giving up an average of 22 points a game.
But head coach Jason Garrett is of the belief that the defense was actually better than these stats would suggest, as they also forced 31 turnovers, good enough for second in the league.
“There are a lot of different ways to measure your defense and a lot of people get caught up in yards and all the different ways that people use numbers in this game, but taking the ball away impacts the game,” Garrett said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. “It impacts the game like none other ... You look at the correlation between takeaways and points scored and it’s a pretty direct correlation and has been for a long time. And points scored relates to winning.”
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