IRVING, Texas – Safety
The Cowboys forced six turnovers in the opener, but they also allowed more than 100 yards receiving and more than 20 yards per catch to each of the Giants’ top three wide receivers. Allen said the big plays don’t eliminate the importance of the turnovers or completely diminish the defense’s play.
“I think that’s just a couple first game alignments, first game playing a little too fast or not enough attention to detail,” he said. “Most times big plays happen when there’s not attention to detail or somebody not getting a call or something happening like that. I think us causing turnovers helped us win the game. That’s how we stayed in it, otherwise the big plays would have been the story of the day.”
One of the big plays allowed came on a 70-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, who finished with three scores on the day. Allen, who had an interception Sunday, was playing over the top at the time.
“We just had a little bit of miscommunication,” Allen said. “Sometimes that happens in a game, sometimes a call gets in late, sometimes we don’t hear a call all the way. That’s just what happened, but it’s not going to happen again.”
Allen said it’s typical for a team learning a new defense to need a little bit of time to look the way it’s supposed to. He said overall the defense hustled and played well.
Turnovers are expected in Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli’s defense, and Allen said it’s a good sign to get six of them in the first game. He knows the focus now has to be taken a step further to get to an elite level.
“I’ve been talking all along that we set a good foundation for ourselves in training camp and throughout the preseason of what this defense would be about and now we’re just climbing the ladder,” Allen said. “That’s the main thing we’re doing.”
Allen also said it’s easier to play defense when everyone believes in the philosophy. He said all the defenders live by the same motto, which is playing physically and taking the ball away, and he knows the six turnover performance won’t matter much if the defense can’t repeat their ball-hawking skills this week.
“That’s just one win under our belt,” Allen said. “We’ve got Kansas City now. That’s the mentality. It’s over with. The six turnovers are over with. We’ve got to do it again.”