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The Cowboys defense is finally playing complementary football to the offense in the first four weeks

The Dallas Cowboys defense is producing turnovers at an unbelievable rate.

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are taking the ball away at a rate that is making us feel like we are watching a different team, but there certainly aren’t any complaints happening around here. There are officially 10 turnovers to the Cowboys’ name through the first four weeks of the season, and what’s interesting to note is that they actually took the ball away more during the final four games of last season (12). That’s a topic for a different day.

For the purposes of this conversation we are not going to take a look at the turnovers that the Cowboys defense has generated, but rather the field position that they are giving the offense to work with as a result of them. You will recall that early on in the season last year the Cowboys did a terrible job of flipping the field when on defense. That is certainly not the case this year.

The Dallas Cowboys defense has set up the team’s offense through the first four weeks

Altogether the Cowboys have 10 turnovers this year, but it is important to note for the purposes of this conversation that two of them did not lead to a possession for the offense. The interception that Jourdan Lewis had against Tampa Bay that came in the final seconds of the first half, and the Trevon Diggs pick-six, did not lead to offensive possessions.

So this means that we have eight turnovers that have given the Cowboys possessions on offense that they otherwise would not have had. These are those eight broken down by how they happened, the starting field position that Dallas had as a result of them, and the result of the following offensive drive with the points that each sequence added to the overall cause.

Dallas Cowboys Field Position and Results Generated by Turnovers Through Week 4
  • DeMarcus Lawrence Forced Fumble, Tampa Bay 27, Touchdown (+6)
  • Trevon Diggs Interception, Tampa Bay 21, Field Goal (+3)
  • Damontae Kazee Forced Fumble, Dallas 10, Field Goal (+3)
  • Trevon Diggs Interception, Dallas 20, Interception
  • Damontae Kazee Interception, Dallas 20, Field Goal (+3)
  • Anthony Brown Interception, Dallas 1, Fumble
  • Trevon Diggs Interception, Carolina 37, Touchdown (+7)
  • Trevon Diggs Interception, Carolina 29, Field Goal (+3)

You will note that the first sequence listed here only led to six points, that was obviously a Greg Zuerlein missed extra point.

Looking at the eight, the Cowboys have scored two touchdowns, kicked four field goals, and turned the ball over twice themselves (starting on the 1-yard line against Philadelphia certainly was not advantageous). Collectively they have yielded 25 points from these eight possessions.

If there is any room for improvement here it is on the offense’s part. Consider that of the eight possessions, the defense has actually given the Cowboys offense the ball with 37 yards or less to go half of the time. Only two of those four possessions have led to touchdowns while the other two have gone for field goals. Points off of turnovers will always increase the likelihood of winning, but touchdowns after turnovers will break the other team’s will.

In fact, the shortest field given to the Cowboys this offseason (Diggs’ interception against Tampa which put the ball on their 21-yard line) only led to a field goal and in hindsight it is fair to say that a touchdown there could have won the game. This isn’t to dwell on the past, but to note how precious those opportunities are and how they need to be cashed in on.

Hopefully the offense starts to match the defense. What a sentence that is.