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Leighton Vander Esch believes the Cowboys defense practices getting turnovers more now

Turnovers are an emphasis for Dallas now as poorly as they’ve done with them in the past.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Death, taxes, and the Dallas Cowboys defense not generating a ton of turnovers.

Turnovers are obviously a big deal in the game of football. They flip a game completely in the sense that they take one team’s ability to score (possessing the ball) and immediately put it in the opposition’s. Of course, turnovers also change the super-definable trait known as momentum - so there’s that, too.

We have all watched for long enough to know that the Cowboys defense isn’t exactly a great defense at generating turnovers. They have played a more conservative style which doesn’t naturally put them in as many positions to get them. Considering how important they can be in the sport of football, it goes without saying that people would want to see more of them.

Leighton Vander Esch believes the Cowboys defense is practicing turnovers more now

Among all of the Cowboys on defense, one of the best at generating turnovers is Leighton Vander Esch. This is partly why 2018, LVE’s rookie year, was so prosperous for the team’s defense. They were fortunate enough to generate some critical turnovers that they needed and it all resulted in an NFC East crown.

Things are obviously different on defense here in 2020 as Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard are both gone while Mike Nolan is in. Vander Esch appeared on 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday and was asked if he felt like anything was different with the new staff in the turnover department, specifically if he felt like they would come more often this season.

“I think we practice it more in practice right now. We have a designated period in practice every day where we’re practicing turnovers. Every type of turnover there is. We’ve gone over punching, raking, hammers, all the stuff. Tackling and punching at the same time. We’ve gone over so many things already and we just will continue to keep doing that every single day in practice. Because it matters. And if you don’t practice and have a designated period in practice for it, it’s not going to be on your mind as much. So that just helps in the end. And so I think some of it obviously has to do with scheme and some certain things, but it’s really just your mindset.”

Practicing turnovers more? Is Vander Esch really sure that this is going to help? I mean, why would practicing something ever be helpful in any way here?

In all seriousness, this is fantastic news. To hear that the Cowboys have a dedicated portion of practice for something so fundamental is not shocking given how much Mike McCarthy has spoken about the bedrock pieces of the game.

It is still way too early to get ridiculously hyped about this defense, but this is a positive trend. If you want to get hyped about something though perhaps direct your efforts towards Francis Bernard. That’s who Vander Esch chose when asked for a potential breakout candidate.

“Oh yea. I think Francis, in our room. Francis Bernard. I think he’s really taken off. He’s a smart kid, he plays fast. Obviously he’s made plays. He’s gotten an interception in the last two padded practices. I think he’s making a name for himself and I think he’s going to be awesome for our room. I’m pumped to have him with us. Like I said he’s smart, he plays fast, he’s instinctual. He’s going to be huge on special teams for us. And when he finds his time on the field, he’s going to do just fine.”

We are almost three weeks to kick off. It needs to hurry up and get here.

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