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Mailbag: Will The Takeaway Totals Increase?

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In 2018 Dallas had only 9 takeaway interceptions, ranking 26th (tied with Tampa Bay) in the league. Do you think this statistic will improve in 2019? - CARMELO FRASCA / SARNICO, ITALY

Bryan: I guess it could get worse? Turnovers are always a tricky thing to try and predict. If you look at the opponent’s quarterbacks this season I’d say there is a pretty good chance that number doesn’t improve. They do face young quarterbacks in Miami, New York Jets and Buffalo, so maybe some mistakes there. As a group, other than Byron Jones they don’t put themselves in many positions to get balls, so that’s the biggest problem.

Rob: I think there’s a chance because they’ve added another quality edge rusher (Robert Quinn) and upgraded the defensive tackle depth. No, they didn’t spend or draft big for a safety, but they’ve got a lot of belief in Xavier Woods and the pressure up front can only help the guys on the back end. They did finish mid-pack in total takeaways last year (20; tied for 16th).

How much of an impact will the recent scouting department personnel losses have on this team? I know Will McClay has done a great job scouting players for this team, but I'm sure part of the reason for that is having good quality people working under him. How do you see this affecting the team going forward? - FRED ROBERTS / SALEM, OR

Bryan: They lost a couple of good ones in Walter Juliff and Tom Ciskowski, but these are situations that you prepare for as a department. Losing Jim Abrams on the West Coast might hurt them more. He was a trusted voice with a nice eye for evaluations. Replacing him will be more of a challenge.

Rob: Ciskowski and Juliff were fixtures in the department for three decades and Jim Abrams was well-respected too. But they’ve still got quality scouts working under McClay, and some young ones on the rise.

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