Jason Garrett doesn't like the turnovers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told his team they needed to protect the ball following the 20-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night.

The Cowboys turned the ball over three times. There was a Tony Romo interception, a fumble from Lonyae Miller after catching a pass and Stephen McGee losing the ball on a strip sack.

Garrett reminded his team that when teams turn the ball over, they lose.

NFL teams went 48-80 last season when they turned the ball over two or more times. The Cowboys went 0-3. The Cowboys were 0-6 in 2010 with three or more turnovers. NFL teams went 27-99 overall.

"Ultimately it comes down to we turned it over three times and we they didn’t turn it over at all," Garrett said. "And they know those statistics from last year in the NFL, and really the last 30 years in the NFL, the correlation between turnovers and winning and losing in the NFL. We need to do a better job of taking care of the football, and we need to do a better job of getting the ball away from them. That’s really statistic No. 1 in the NFL, and we lost it [Sunday] and it had a big impact in the ball game."

Garrett was mindful that from a statistical standpoint the Cowboys outgained the Chargers (313 yards to 239), had more first downs (23 to 18) and did better on third down (8 of 12 converted to 5 of 11).

It still wasn't good enough to win.

"What I told the team afterwards was without having seen the stats, I bet we had more yards, and I bet we ran for more yards and we threw it for more yards, and I bet we were better on third down than they were," he said.