Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys defense steps up, allowing only 13 points, but takeaways still lacking

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, wrapping up Giants running back Shane Vereen, had a team-high nine tackles.
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, wrapping up Giants running back Shane Vereen, had a team-high nine tackles. Star-Telegram

The defense deserves credit for keeping the team in the game, particularly in the second half when quarterback Matt Cassel threw three interceptions in a stretch of five passes.

The Giants returned one for a touchdown, but managed only a field goal off the other two combined.

That kept the Cowboys in the game until the end. The only blemish, though, is another game without a takeaway for a defense that prided itself on that a year ago.

The Cowboys haven’t had a takeaway since Week 2, and haven’t had a takeaway in five of six games.

“Defense didn’t take the ball away … that proved to be one of the deciding factors in the game,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “They had takeaways. We had none.”

The Cowboys appeared to have an interception by rookie Byron Jones on a play where the ball bounced up off his shoe, but replay showed it hit the turf before ricocheting up.

That didn’t have many other opportunities after that.

“I don’t know, man. It’s definitely frustrating,” defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. “We’ve just got to figure it out, to be honest with you.”

Despite no takeaways, the defense still played well. They held the Giants to 13 points, excluding the scores on an interception return and kickoff return. New York totaled just 289 yards of total offense and went 3-of-11 on third down.

“There’s times where we’re good, but it’s not good enough right now,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “There’s lapses and we’re not getting turnovers. We have to find a way to play at a high level right now. Until we do, we’re not going to win.”

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