THE TEXAS-2-MUCH SCHEME: Despite turnovers, Dallas Cowboys defense on pace to be worst in NFL history
DETROIT — The Dallas Cowboys defense has improved in the turnover department.
They forced four turnovers Sunday and have 18 on the season, two more than they had all of last year. But those turnovers weren’t enough to get them a victory, as they became the second team in NFL history to lose a game when having a plus-4 turnover margin.
“That’s a shame,” defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. “We talk about turnovers and we did what we needed to do. We just didn’t make things as tough as we should have and of course we didn’t stop the pass. You can’t give up big chunks like that, gosh darn it.”
The turnovers were nice and are usually the difference maker in the outcome, but the yardage allowed by the Cowboys’ defense is staggering this season.
They allowed 623 yards Sunday and are now on pace to give up 6,760 yards on the season, which would be a team record and one of the worst in NFL history. They are also on pace to give up 5,062 passing yards, which would set an NFL record.
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson had 329 receiving yards, the second most all-time in a single game. More troubling, though, is that the Cowboys’ defense allowed the Lions to march 80 yards in 50 seconds in what proved to be the game-deciding drive late in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the fourth quarter, they allowed two eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drives.
“When it matters most, when it’s time to get off the field, when it’s time to put a dagger in them in the last drive of the game, we weren’t able to do that,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “That’s what cost us in the end.”
Said defensive tackle Jason Hatcher: “I put it on the defense. We should have closed the game out and we didn’t.”
DeMarcus Ware 1.5 sacks from becoming Cowboys all-time leader; wants to learn about Harvey Martin
Defensive end DeMarcus Ware is 1.5 sacks from surpassing the late Harvey Martin as the Cowboys all-time leading sacker.
Ware has 113 heading into Sunday’s game against the Rams. Martin ended his career with 114.
Ware said he dosen’t know much about Martin but plans to learn more about the legendary Cowboys pass rusher who was the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII.
“I’m not a big historian, but when you have an opportunity to break someone’s record, it’s always a blessing. So you need to know the reason why you’re doing it, and you need to know about that person,” Ware said. “I need to make sure I learn about him.”
Ware said the record will mean a lot because of the long list of pass rushers in Cowboys history. But he still is searching for the thing that really sets those before him apart _ a Super Bowl title.
“You know with the tradition the Cowboys have had, the pass rushers they’ve had, Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones, Randy White, Charles Haley, Harvey Martin, you can keep going,” Ware said. “Being part of that tradition, being able to get your name with those guys, that’s what it’s about when you talk about playing with the Dallas Cowboys. There is always one more thing you need to add to that, and that’s winning a championship. That’s what we’re trying to do this year.”