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Training Camp | 2020

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Introducing Ha Ha: 'I Like To Take The Ball Away'


Ha Ha Clinton-Dix might be joining a new defense this season, but he's one of just two players on the Cowboys' roster who previously started games for head coach Mike McCarthy in Green Bay.

McCarthy clearly has confidence in the veteran safety – and Clinton-Dix knows exactly what he can bring to the Dallas defense.

"Leadership," Clinton-Dix said after Friday's first training camp practice. "I like to take the ball away.

"I've been in the league for seven years, never missed a snap, never missed a game. And I'm excited to be back here on this back end and do my part."

Clinton-Dix is a projected starting safety next to Xavier Woods. The Cowboys signed him to a one-year deal in April after he split the last two seasons in Washington and Chicago.

Before that, he was a five-year starter for McCarthy in Green Bay. And indeed, he's been able to take the ball away: 16 career interceptions and four fumble recoveries, including 12 combined takeaways in Green Bay.

"One thing he really preaches on (in Green Bay) is taking the ball away and ball security," Clinton-Dix said. "We work a lot of ball drills, today we did. I just know that taking the ball away is very important to give the offense a chance to go out and score points."

The Cowboys' staff, led by new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, is focused on increasing takeaways. Dallas tied for the fourth-fewest last year (17) after ranking in the top half of the league in 2018 with 20.

Handing a few more possessions to an offense that ranked first in total yardage last year could lead to a few more wins.

"We're fast to the ball, fly around and it's ultimately about making plays, being comfortable in the defense and the scheme that he's calling," Clinton-Dix said. "I know it's going to be a great year. We have a great offense that's going to put points on the board and it's just going to be fun."

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