The Dallas Cowboys defensive quagmire persists despite changes

Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys - Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys - Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite significant changes made this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys’ defense still struggles to force turnovers.

Last season, the Dallas Cowboys finished the year tied for the sixth-lowest number of defensive takeaways in 2019 with 17 (seven interceptions, 10 fumbles recovered). The team averaged less than half an interception per game.

During the offseason, America’s Team got a much-needed makeover of its coaching staff. The team parted ways with its head coach Jason Garrett, infamous in Dallas for his impeccable clapping abilities, and hired former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

McCarthy, who had won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2011, also brought on a new defensive coordinator among other changes. The team lost defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and brought in Mike Nolan, a former head coach for the San Fransisco 49ers.

The team also lost two of the most prominent members of their secondary in the offseason. Dallas lost their veteran cornerback Byron Jones as well as their veteran safety Jeff Heath.

The organization also made some notable offseason additions to their defense. The team signed two former Pro Bowl defensive ends in Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith. They also used their second-round draft pick to nab a promising cornerback out of Alabama, Trevon Diggs.

Despite all of these changes, the team has still struggled to force turnovers. Through the first three games of the season, the team has only forced two turnovers. Although the defense has certainly had its hands full with its opponents thus far the inability to take away the football remains one of the team’s most intractable problems.

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The Dallas Cowboys head into a much easier section of their schedule starting this week against the Cleveland Browns.  However, if the Cowboys can not fix this defect moving forward it is very hard to imagine they will still be playing football come January.