If the Dallas Cowboys attack is successful, all credit goes to Kellen Moore. As touchdowns fly, the likes of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz (what a great problem to have) are all getting bouquets of roses.
Lately, the Cowboys defense has been generating turnover like crazy and many are eager to shower Dan Quinn with love. It seems we are leaving out a very important person.
Mike McCarthy has dramatically improved the Dallas Cowboys’ defense in one key area:
Since he became the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys last year, we’ve heard from Mike McCarthy almost more than any other word: turnover.
McCarthy has constantly emphasized the importance of turnovers and the ripple effect they can have to the team’s success (a topic we discussed here at BTB this week). With the Cowboys starting the season 3-1 and having so much success, that idea was easy to see this year.
As mentioned above, many are quick to commend Dan Quinn for the sudden change in this department. The aim here is not to discredit Dan Quinn or take any credit away from him, as he has been a welcome addition to this staff, but rather to emphasize how the team’s head coach deserves an equal share of that.
The Cowboys have 10 turnovers in their first four games this season, but did you know they had 12 turnovers in their last four games last season (which predates Dan Quinn)? 22 turnover through an eight game stretch is insane which is why we wanted to take a look there and BTB’s very own Aidan Davis was kind enough to demonstrate just how insane it is.
Each dot here represents a piece of eight matches and the Y-axis is the total sum of sales forced into a metric. Each piece including Mike McCarthy is blue where the others are gray and the current piece that the Cowboys are in is denoted by the star.
As you can see very little of since 1990, Dallas has forced 22 turns in an eight-game period, and what’s more, there’s generally a bit of regression after that, suggesting some cloudier days as far as it goes. takeaways could be on the horizon (which isn’t the end of the world). But the impact Mike McCarthy has made, even from the very beginning, is extremely noticeable.
One important thing to note here is that the first piece, including Mike McCarthy, literally barely includes him as it is worth seven games from a Jason Garrett-led Cowboys team with just one with McCarthy in charge. From just about the very first moment McCarthy took over from the Cowboys, they’ve continued to have more sales in their (at that time) most recent eight-game period, all the way to where we are in Week 5 of the 2021 season.
Dan Quinn has certainly made his mark as Cowboys defensive coordinator and is undoubtedly a significant improvement over Mike Nolan in the role. However, Mike McCarthy is the common denominator here, and while he has been an offensive coach throughout his career, the evidence more than illustrates the impact he made on the team in this all-important measurement.
Give McCarthy his props. He deserved them.