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How The Cowboys Can Ensure A Playoff Berth

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Doug Free and penalties are practically synonymous. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Doug Free and penalties are practically synonymous. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

Football is an incredibly complex game that often has incredibly simple answers, and none more so than this duo of culprits. In 2013, the Cowboys drew 117 flags for 873 yards — a high frequency to go with modest yardage — suggesting their mistakes were mental and minute rather than straight reckless (i.e., false starts vs. personal fouls). But combined with a -13 turnover margin, their sloppiness becomes indefensible. Simply put, with all the parity in the NFC East these days, there is zero hope for a team that beats itself.