Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DMN Blog: Did DeMarcus Ware and Co. cost the Cowboys interceptions?

By Tim MacMahon/Blogger

Terence Newman has a theory about the Cowboys defense's low interception total last season.

"When you get a lot of sacks," Newman said, "you're not going to get a lot of turnovers."

Newman was specifically referring to picks. The Cowboys recovered 14 fumbles last season, which is a decent number. Their eight interceptions were the third fewest in the league. His logic is that you can't pick off a pass that the QB doesn't get a chance to throw.

On the other hand, one would think that a defense that racks up a league-leading 59 sacks would make opposing quarterbacks awfully nervous. As a result, a lot of hurried passes due to pressure -- or the threat of it -- would provide prime pick opportunities.

Pittsburgh, which ranked second in the league with 51 sacks, had 20 interceptions.

In the previous five seasons, the lowest interception total by a team that led the league in sacks was 15, by the 2007 Giants. The 2003 Ravens had the highest picks total (24) for a sacks leader.

Eight isn't nearly enough, no matter how many times DeMarcus Ware keeps a QB from throwing the ball.