Cowboys' D has had enough

Updated: December 18, 2013, 6:55 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- The players on the Dallas Cowboys' defense have seen enough.

As the Cowboys head into Sunday's game against the hapless Washington Redskins, their defense ranks last against the pass, 28th against the run and last overall.

"Fed up," cornerback Brandon Carr said after Wednesday's practice. "Personally, I know what we can do. There has been games when we have showed who the Cowboys as a defense was. I don't know, honestly we have talked about it so much this year. I'm not a big fan of talking about and always got an excuse and got a reason why.

"In this league, it's wins and losses. You either get it done or you don't. Too many times on our side of the ball we haven't got the job done to help our offense out."

After 14 games, the Cowboys have given up a franchise-record 5,982 yards and are just 1,060 yards from the NFL record of yards allowed in a single-season, set by the 2012 New Orleans Saints.

Yet, the Cowboys have faith they can fix things.

"You have to do it," defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. "That's why I call it the 24-hour, 48-hour rule. Sometimes it's 24 hours and sometimes it's 48. But the 48 hours are up now. So let's go."

The Cowboys are coming off consecutive losses where the defense gave up scores on their first eight defensive possessions to the Chicago Bears and on five consecutive possessions to the Green Bay Packers last weekend.

The Cowboys blew a 26-3 halftime lead to the Packers.

Health is a major issue for the defense with starting linebackers Sean Lee (neck) and Justin Durant (hamstring) out for the Redskins game. Durant was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.

Nickel corner Morris Claiborne (hamstring) also won't play against the Redskins, with the trainers hoping to get him ready for the regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The pass rush has been inconsistent and there are questions about star defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who has two sacks the last five weeks. Ware said he's physically fine, but coach Jason Garrett said he's seen single-blocking and needs to reach the quarterback more often.

"We've just got to play better," cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. "I know I sound like a broken record, but you've got to put the last week behind you. When you face a little bit of adversity, you don't want to start thinking about, 'Oh, no, here this goes again,' because then you put doubt in your own self."

When told that owner/general manager Jerry Jones wants to take more risks with the offense because of the sorry state of the defense, Carr noted you need to block things out.

"I don't listen to anybody outside these walls -- no disrespect," he said. "That's not my mindset, it's not something I put in my mind or listen to. We know our defense. We got to do better. We got to step up, it's little details, we've been saying it all season, harping on the same things. It just comes to a point and time we got to start making plays and we got two weeks left that's the only guarantee we have."

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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