Brandon Carr hasn’t had an interception in almost two years. Morris Claiborne hasn’t had a pick all season.
For that matter, no Dallas Cowboys cornerback has an interception through the first nine games this season. That’s something that isn’t sitting well in their meetings.
“We don’t sleep well right now. We’re still trying to get the ball in our hands,” Carr said. “It’s a challenge for us. I wouldn’t say frustrating, but that’s why we play the game. We play the game for just the challenge of checking receivers and challenging them, getting on the board, getting takeaways.”
For the season, the Cowboys have four interceptions. Linebacker Sean Lee and defensive end Greg Hardy each have one apiece, and reserve safety Jeff Heath grabbed two last Sunday in Tampa Bay.
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But the cornerbacks haven’t found much luck in that department. Heck, they’ve even dropped a couple that went right into their hands.
Carr hopes things get turned around. His most recent interception came on Nov. 28, 2013 against Oakland. Last season marked his first professional season without an interception.
The lack of interceptions overshadow any statistical improvement the secondary has made this season, considering the team’s seven-game losing streak. They were the seventh-worst pass defense in the league a year ago, and are now a middle-of-the-road unit ranking 14th.
“We need to make those plays. The takeaways would have helped us out,” Carr said. “We probably could have won half these ballgames we’ve been in. That’s the biggest difference. Last year, we didn’t have the stats as far as yards and whatever our defense was ranked, but we had takeaways.
“The name of the game is getting the ball. You see that week in, week out. Teams can give up 500 yards, but taking that ball away and getting the opportunity for the offense to score again ups their chances of winning the game. So that’s the big thing on takeaways. We’re doing all right with the stats and all, but we want to get that ball because we know that correlates to winning.”
The Cowboys' defense has six takeaways this season, ranking second-worst in the NFL. A year ago, they were the second-best team at getting the ball with 31.