Key stat: Cowboys need more takeaways

The switch to the 4-3 Tampa 2 scheme is not going to generate a single turnover this season. It's the players within the scheme that must get the job done.

The Cowboys forced just 16 turnovers last season, tying Miami for 28th in the NFL. Only three teams had fewer: Indianapolis, Kansas City and Philadelphia.


The Cowboys had eight interceptions and eight fumble recoveries. Looking for one reason the offense struggled much of last season? Rarely did the defense give them the ball in premium scoring position after a turnover.

For the Cowboys to make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons they're going to have get more turnovers.

Health is more important than their new scheme. If the Cowboys can get Demarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff, Bruce Carter, Sean Lee, Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne on the field for at least 14 games then their turnover numbers should increase just because those guys each have a penchant for making plays.

Then again, Ratliff is already day-to-day with a mild hamstring strain. Don't forget, he played just six games last season. And Spencer is day-to-day with a knee issue.