2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cowboys lagging on INTs despite new cornerbacks

    2012-12-06 05:01

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne probably figured his first NFL touchdown would come on an interception. The rookie had to settle for a fumble return because the picks have been hard to come by for the Cowboys.

After trading up eight spots to take Claiborne at No. 6 in this year's draft and committing at least $26 million to free agent Brandon Carr, Dallas is last in the league with five interceptions and the only team without a player who has at least two heading into Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

``We certainly want to create more takeaways,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``There's no question about that.''

Dallas scored three defensive touchdowns in two games against the Eagles, including Claiborne's 50-yard fumble return in Sunday's 38-33 win. In the first meeting, Carr had a 47-yard interception return and Jason Hatcher recovered a fumble at the goal line after a sack in a 38-23 Dallas win.

``We believe that turnovers and takeaways are a team thing,'' Garrett said. ``So everybody's involved, pressuring the quarterback, tipping the ball, all of those things come into play. And certainly when you have a chance to make them, you've got to make them.''

Dallas had to make them, actually. The Cowboys had allowed four straight scoring drives by Philadelphia before Morris' fumble return. The previous game against Washington, the Cowboys watched the Redskins score four touchdowns in a quarter for the first time in 13 years.

Four starters are out for the year, and Dallas' defense slipped out of the top 10 after the Eagles gained 423 yards with rookies at quarterback and running back. Improving the minus-10 turnover ratio might be the only way for the Cowboys (6-6) to stay in the playoff race - or more games where the Dallas offense matches all the scoring drives, like it did against Philadelphia.

``We can't use (injuries) as an excuse, but I feel like that plays a big part in it,'' Claiborne said. ``We just have to count on those guys to come in and get the job done. And ... we've been compensating for each other all year, from the offense to the defense. Every time we gave up a touchdown, they came back and scored a touchdown to keep us in the game.''

The Cowboys aren't anywhere close to the bottom of the league in turnover ratio - that would be Kansas City at minus-21 - but only three players expected to suit up against the Bengals have an interception.

Danny McCray, who was supposed to be a backup safety while focusing on special teams, has one along with Carr and Claiborne. The others belong to linebacker Sean Lee - out for the year with a toe injury - and safety Charlie Peprah, a midseason injury replacement who might not make it back this season because of a foot injury.

The turnover ratio for Dallas might be worse if not for eight fumbles, about in the middle of the NFL pack.

``We just have to stop them from scoring,'' linebacker Anthony Spencer said. ``Any way we can do it - interceptions, fumbles, three-and-outs, six plays and out. Any way we can get off the field, that's how we've got to get it done.''

In the first game against the Eagles, Claiborne was beaten on a highlight-reel touchdown catch by Riley Cooper and penalized five times, including twice for offsides, rare for a defensive back.

``I've been a cornerback for quite a while and I learned in college that things are going to happen and you have to move on from it,'' Claiborne said. ``But that game was a big teaching game for me. I felt like it was just growing pains for me, just growing up and learning everything in the NFL.''

The two Philadelphia games were the opposite for Carr. His biggest moment in Dallas was the interception return for a score last month, whereas he hardly wanted to be on the field Sunday night against the Eagles because of the murder-suicide in Kansas City involving Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, his teammate just a year ago. Carr knew Belcher and his girlfriend well.

Carr, who signed a $50 million deal over five years, was beaten by Cooper for a touchdown early, just as Claiborne was three weeks earlier. He finished with just one tackle.

``I can handle the scrutiny,'' Carr said. ``I'm in a position where I'm fair game to everybody. I can handle whatever they have to say. All I can do is come every day, keep getting better and keep working.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lschuylerd

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group