IRVING, Texas -- Turnovers are a great thing when you’re a defensive player. The Dallas Cowboys have 20 takeaways in the first nine games of the season.
Considering they had 16 all of last season, that is a monumental improvement but does not negate the defensive woes as a whole.
Turnovers are even better when the offense can score points on the ensuing drive, and that’s where the Cowboys have failed lately.
In the past four games, the Cowboys have 10 takeaways. The Cowboys have scored two touchdowns following those turnovers and both drives started inside the opponents’ 5. Joseph Randle pushed his way into the end zone against the Washington Redskins with a little help from his friends. Dez Bryant pinned a Tony Romo pass against his helmet for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions.
The only other drive following a turnover to result in a score came on a 53-yard field goal by Dan Bailey against the Lions.
Quibble with the fact that three of those turnovers came against the Philadelphia Eagles with the game already in hand if you want, but the Cowboys have to do more when they get the ball back. Yes, the defense is getting the ball away from teams, but they are also allowing a high number of yards and points.
In the first five games, the Cowboys scored three touchdowns and a field goal following seven turnovers.
They have not had a drive go longer than 17 yards following their last 10 takeaways. Six times Chris Jones had to punt. One time they took a knee.
For the Cowboys to be better offensively, they need to be better after takeaways. A lot better.