IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys talk about turnovers as much as any topic.
“There’s some plays we left on the field,” said cornerback Brandon Carr, who had four interceptions for the Chiefs last season before signing a $50 million deal with Dallas. “We’ve seen that on film and are trying to correct it.”
Added Lee, who led NFL linebackers with four picks last season: “We need to capitalize every time. That’s the type of defense we need to be, and that’s the kind of expectations we have. I don’t think there’s been an unbelievable amount [of missed opportunities], but we still have to find a way to create them.”
A lack of turnovers combined with poor performance in the return game has resulted in the Cowboys ranking second to last in the league in average field position. That’s part of the reason the Cowboys have averaged only 15.5 points per game, which ranks 29th in the league.
The Cowboys want their defenders to have an attack mentality, constantly thinking about turnovers, but they don’t want them to force the issue by freelancing.
“You just have to keep playing hard,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You obviously want to play the defense the way you need to play it from a scheme standpoint, but at the same time, you need to make some plays, too. Oftentimes, that comes from pressuring the quarterback and making him throw it earlier than he wants to and then on the back end you just simply have to go get the football and make some plays.
“We keep emphasizing it, our players understand the importance of it and hopefully they’ll start to come for our defense.”