Days after Sun Bowl USC defensive coordinator hired by Dallas Cowboys
As expected, Monte Kiffin has agreed to become the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. The team has not officially announced the move.
Kiffin went to Valley Ranch on Thursday to speak with team officials, at which point it became clear he was the top target for the position after Rob Ryan’s release. Kiffin met with the club again Friday to finalize the deal.
The “Tampa 2” guru uses a 4-3 scheme, which will force the defensive staff to figure out what changes need to be made on the front seven to adjust from the 3-4. The new look would allow to line up as a defensive tackle, which could take away from the wear and tear of playing nose tackle. It could also mean a shift from linebacker to defensive end for and , if the Cowboys can re-sign Spencer.
Kiffin, who turns 73 next month, hasn’t coached professionally since ending his 13-year tenure as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator after the 2008 season. He then went to the collegiate ranks to coach defense alongside his son, Lane, at Tennessee and USC. Kiffin resigned from his post with the Trojans after their bowl game this season to pursue opportunities in the NFL.
The Cowboys have employed the 3-4 defense every year since Bill Parcells installed the scheme in 2005. The Cowboys’ record is 73-55 since then, but they haven’t finished in the top 10 in total defense since 2009, when they finished ninth.
Kiffin’s “Tampa 2” defense, which is a spinoff of the “Cover 2,” places an emphasis on speed, aggression and creating turnovers. The Cowboys were tied for last in the league with seven interceptions this season. They’ve only finished in the top 10 in interceptions once the last five seasons.
Source: Dallas Cowboys