Offense And Defense Focused On Flipping Turnover Ratio

IRVING, Texas – Not many teams can be second worst in the league in turnover ratio and still have a chance to be leading the division a week later.

Only Kansas City held a worse turnover ratio than Dallas entering the Cowboys' bye week. With a litany of issues offensively this season, head coach Jason Garrett said fixing the turnovers is the most immediate need.

"Taking care of the football, and going to get the football, that's line one in this game, and has been for a long, long time," Garrett said. "You saw it all over the games this weekend, so we just have to do a better job of that. In the Chicago game, that was the determining factor more than anything else in the game, so we have to do a better job of that going forward."

The Cowboys fixed their pre-snap penalty problems against the Bears, but they also threw five interceptions. While the defense is among the league leaders in total yardage allowed, it's only interception this season went to linebacker Sean Lee.

Philadelphia is the only other team in the NFC who shares the Cowboys' minus-seven turnover ratio.

"It's a team thing," Garrett said. "We talk about that all the time. On offense, the ball security is a team thing, it starts with the guys up front, the guys protecting, the guys blocking, certainly the guys who have the ball in their hands, and similarly on defense, if you create havoc for the quarterback, and he has to do things quicker than he wants to do, typically those result in interceptions."

Cornerback Brandon Carr said the secondary needs to start creating turnovers, but the defense could be vulnerable if defensive backs get out of position to try and make a play.

"You try to be too aggressive, too anxious, too eager to make a play, and you step outside the framework of your defense, and that's when bad things happen," Carr said.

Still, he said each member of the defense needs to challenge himself to get the ball back to the offense.

"You be the one to make that play," Carr said. "You be the one to make the difference for the defense. But at the same time, you have to be smart about it, read your keys, just try to remember everything you went over in film."

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