Past, Present And Future

Since Pasqualoni took over for Wade Phillips 6 games ago, turnovers & points allowed are both up.

and those kinds of things - they've been in place for a while."

And so now the Cowboys have their turnovers. They indeed changed a few things around right in the middle of the season to create them, but it seems to have left the defense wholly unsound in the process. That's why opponents' scoring is up two whole points since Garrett and Pasqualoni took over, despite the fact the Cowboys have committed only seven giveaways in the six games the duo has been in charge.

There are two ways to look at the sudden change in this defense, and both lead to the same remedy. Either the Cowboys need more practice time to work on the slight principle changes that have been made, or they need a lot of new personnel, because the guys they currently have are only capable of playing things Phillips' way.

In either event, the cure-all for this atrocious defense is an offseason. An offseason to change some parts. An offseason to practice and drill over and over again the "new wrinkles."

And here's the other big thing: An offseason to get Romo healthy.

When Romo comes back, the Cowboys' offense won't always need all this help, though it's certainly nice to occasionally take over possession in opponents' territory, as the Cowboys did on three of their first four drives on Sunday. When the franchise quarterback returns, there is reason to believe the Cowboys can go back to outscoring teams some of the time. They shouldn't put all of their eggs in that basket, though. They need to be able to create turnovers some of the time.

How does a team simply start creating turnovers when it wants to?

"I think you'd have to evaluate how teams play individually," Garrett said. "Different teams play different styles in order to create turnovers, so I think you'd have to evaluate that individually more than making a generalization."

Do the Cowboys gamble or are they conservative?

"Probably a combination," Garrett said.

So this is how they will find the happy medium of taking the ball away while still not allowing a lot of points.

Give them an offseason. An offseason to change some of the personnel, an offseason to work on some of the things they're doing wrong, and an offseason to let their star quarterback get healthy. They won't be able to fix anything until the offseason.

It can't come soon enough.

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