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The Cowboys don't have the dominant defense of an LSU or Alabama, but they are effective in their own way.
Oklahoma State gives up way too many yards to be considering a truly elite defense; however, they have a knack for locking teams down in the red zone and forcing turnovers.
OK State's defense forces the most turnovers in the nation. They've forced opposing teams into 34 total turnovers (15 forced fumbles, 19 INTs) and seem to do so at the most opportune times.
The Cowboys do give up 26.3 points per game, a far cry from LSU's 10.7 or 'Bama's 7.1.
The general argument is that SEC's offenses are terrible, which leads to inflated numbers, and the Big 12's defenses are terrible, leading to, you guessed it, inflated numbers.
However, I'm not going to go down that road. The Cowboys haven't seen a defense anywhere close to as good as LSU's and the Tigers haven't seen an offense with the firepower the Cowboys bring.
Both teams numbers are somewhat inflated due to their conferences, but that doesn't mean that either team doesn't have great offensive and defensive units.