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Monte Kiffin tries to fix the defense

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' defense has been beaten up this season.

It's allowed four quarterbacks to throw for 400 or more yards, a first in NFL history. It gave up a franchise-record 623 yards to the Detroit Lions on Sunday while failing to stop wide receiver Calvin Johnson from picking up 329 receiving yards, the second-best performance in league history.

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has a defense that ranks last overall and against the pass. Oh, yeah, the Cowboys are 17th against the run.

"It is what it is you know," Kiffin said after Wednesday's practice. "I do like the fact we're second in the league in turnovers."

In the NFL this season, 18 teams produced three or more turnovers in games with only the Cowboys losing their contest.

While turnovers are nice and normally lead to victories, the secondary and pass rush have been big problems.

Kiffin has three starters in the secondary, J.J. Wilcox, Morris Claiborne and Barry Church, battling injuries that could cost them some games. Wilcox and Claiborne are doubtful for Sunday while Church plans on playing against the Minnesota Vikings.

The pass rush has missed defensive end DeMarcus Ware the past two games as he continues to nurse a thigh injury. He's doing more rehab work, but it looks like he'll return Nov. 10 against the New Orleans Saints.

"Very, very close," Kiffin said. "You got to finish those games and finishing is tough and [when] you give up yards that's not good. The name of the game is to win and we should have won the game, no doubt about it."