THE REWIND: Garrett facing Boys' failure head on

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett argues a call in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at AT&T Stadium.Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas coach said there are a lot of things to clean up before Bucs game.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett didn’t see any silver linings in the wake of his team’s 23-0 loss at Indianapolis on Sunday.

At the start of Garrett’s Monday press conference, a media member pointed out that some Cowboys players were talking about the loss serving to remind the team of what it needed to do.

But the Dallas coach rejected that notion.

“I don’t really agree with that assessment,” Garrett said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do as a team yesterday to win the game. … We didn’t earn the right to win that game and we have to live with that. We have to learn from that. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

The Cowboys experienced several debilitating problems, some of which are nothing new. Dallas failed to score despite having a first down from the Colts’ 12 midway through the first half, continuing the Cowboys offensive woes in the red zone.

Dallas has also been juggling offensive linemen for a while and struggling in pass protection. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was sacked three times, contributing significantly to the Colts’ shutout win.

Given the chance, though, Garrett refused to blame personnel changes for the lack of execution in pass protection.

One new thing was the Cowboys’ inability to stop the Colts’ running game. Dallas still ranks sixth in the NFL in rushing defense despite giving up 178 rushing yards.

Garrett wasn’t willing to let his defensive players off the hook for that lack of execution either.

“I think it started with them blocking us well up front,” Garrett said. “If you look at those plays, over and over and over again, we got blocked. Our down guys got blocked. We didn’t get off of blocks at the first level, the second level of our defense and then we didn’t tackle as well as we needed to. There were too many times we had a guy dead in the hole and he made us miss.”

As of Monday, Dallas still leads the NFC East by a game over the Redskins and Eagles. But that lead seems much smaller with two games left and the Cowboys coming off a flop.