The Dallas Cowboys won another game at the hands of their defense on Sunday against the New York Giants. It was the third game in a row the Dallas defense carried the team on their back. They forced four turnovers again, making the third straight game forcing four turnovers.
The defense has been forcing turnovers all year. They are tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the league lead with 31 turnovers and are tied with Buffalo, New England, and Arizona for the most games, with three or more turnovers forced in a game with five such games.
The Cowboys’ defense forces turnovers on 17% of drives and only allows a touchdown on 19% of drives. Those are truly staggering numbers. This means the Cowboys are almost just as likely to force a turnover as giving up a touchdown at the start of the opposing teams’ possession.
In the last three years, the Cowboys didn’t force more than 23 turnovers in any season. In recent years the Cowboys have had trouble generating interceptions with a high of only ten interceptions in one season over the last three seasons.
In total, the Cowboys had 26 combined interceptions from 2018-2020. This year through 14 games, they already have 23 interceptions. Through 14 games last year, the defense had created only seven interceptions.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this is that everyone is contributing. Of course, Trevon Diggs leads the way with ten interceptions, but the rest of the secondary is doing their part as well.
The interceptions forced by the secondary are a large part of the reason why Dallas is first in the NFL in both dropback EPA and dropback success rate. All of this has led to the defense being ranked as a top seven scoring defense in the NFL.
Of course, the defensive line is a significant factor in forcing all these takeaways as they rank in the top eight of pressure percentage and top five in quarterback knockdown percentage throughout the season.
The defense has come a long way since last year where they ranked near the bottom of almost every statistical category. It has been impressive to watch and fun for all the fans who have been suffering through years and years of poor defensive play.
How confident are you in this Dan Quinn-led defense continuing to ball out in the playoffs? Even with a struggling offense.