Jan 112013
cowboys target kiffin

Old Dog, New Trick

Monte Kiffin is so old, he remembers when the Grand Canyon was just a ditch.

Monte Kiffin is so old, when he was in school, they were writing history rather than reading it.

Monte Kiffin is so old, he has an autographed copy of the King James Bible.

Monte Kiffin is so old…

He doesn’t teach defense; he invented it.

The Cowboys have targeted Kiffin for defensive coordinator and why not? With the 3-4 defense failing the team year after, and the return to the 4-3 scheme that served the team well for nearly 40 years, why go for some young buck that learned defense from Kiffin? Why not go to the master himself?

Monte Kiffin is 72. But he is a young 72. He has 25 years of NFL coaching experience. And he is the architect of the Tampa 2 defense, one of the most widely acclaimed—and successful—defensive schemes to ever thwart an offense.

Some decry the idea of changing because they claim the Cowboys’ personnel is unfit for the switch. Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. is one such detractor:

“Just a little closer to the ball, more wear and tear, more battling with bigger bodies. And he is already showing signs that his body could be beginning to break down. I don’t see a true 4-3 DE on the roster, which would then catapult that to their No. 1 need, which then will make it tougher to address things like offensive line and safety.”

I question that logic. Williamson, apparently, hasn’t watched many Cowboys games. They already play a hybrid front anyway. Ware has his hand on the ground about 50% of the time in the present scheme.  Moreover, in Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, there is plenty of size and speed at linebacker. Both seem tailor-made to thrive in a 4-3.

The Tampa 2, if taught and run correctly, should result in better defensive back play, which means more turnovers and more coverage sacks. The Cowboys have good talent on the defensive side of the ball, but year after year, that talent has under-performed. Something drastic needs to be done and I like this move.

Some refer to Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt and towards the Promised Land. Kiffin remembers it.

Lead us, Oh Wise One. Lead us back to the land of milk and honey. We have been too long in this 3-4 wilderness.

Now…about that offense.