Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Expect Immediate Results on Defense

Ask The Dallas Cowboy’s new Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin and he will tell you, “This isn’t a three year plan.”

According to Cowboy’s brass, the transition from the 3-4 Rob Ryan defense to the 4-3 Monte Kiffin defense should not be seen as a typical rebuilding effort. This transition is expected to show immediate results and is expected to be an improvement over last year’s defense. Consider this: With the recent franchising of Anthony Spencer little cap space is available for any other additions. In addition, Gerald Sensabaugh is being released so the defense will have to answer two question marks at the safety position instead of just one.

Lane Kiffin (son of Monte Kiffin and his former boss at USC) explained the only reason Monte’s defense did not succeed at USC was because the NCAA limits the amount of practice (and film) time. The players needed more time and were not prepared to execute the defense properly. So in other words, they would have been fine if they just had enough time to learn it.

Is that really a valid excuse?

Isn’t that the same issues Dallas had with Rob Ryan? Rob Ryan’s first year was negatively impacted by the NFL lockout. Without a full offseason to install a defense most logical people expect growing pains and therefore expect a simpler version of the defense. Strangely Rob Ryan didn’t simplify his defense very much. That 2011 season was extremely embarrassing for Rob Ryan. Players were lost and confused more often than anyone would care to admit. When players did successfully line up and execute the scheme, the results were mixed. Clearly Rob Ryan had a great excuse coming off an offseason lockout but it was his choice to run this complicated defense. While many other teams scaled back their schemes Rob Ryan kept much of his. At the end of the day it was his fault for overestimating his players and their abilities (of the cognitive variety). Could Monte Kiffin be making the same mistake?

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Monte Kiffin would be wise to learn from Rob Ryan’s mistakes. Ryan thought the team could digest his playbook in one shortened offseason. As it turns out, they couldn’t learn it in two years. The injuries certainly didn’t help Rob Ryan but the lost and confused veterans are what doomed him. As a coach you need to understand your player’s limitations whether it’s mental or physical. Rob Ryan couldn’t see the limitations and it came back to bite him. Will Monte Kiffin fall victim to the same trap?

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  • californy

    Spencer and Ware have not played LB since their college day, it will be interesting how they would do this year. We still have a lot of question on defense. Time will tell what the boys do in this draft and FA market. I just hope Kiffen selects the defensive players

    • jrcowboy49

      Spencer and Ware have not played LB since their college day……………You mean DE? They both should be good at DE as their primary responsibilities is to rush the QB and play the run. They will have limited pass coverage responsibilities.

    • truth

      Aren’t they playing LB in their current and recent roles with Dallas??
      OLBackers in the 3-4? Or am I missing something?

  • billy

    i have one contention with your story. i submit the boys already had 2 questions to answer at the safety position when they had sensebaugh. he didnt carry his water and was a problem. he just happened to be a little better than the rest of the group at that position. he was never a consistent playmaker. i dont know if he couldnt play the position well or just wouldnt but i hope they can find a better player. i dont think it will be too hard really.

  • TA

    Where is the story about the Kiffin Defense? You should be fined for false advertising.

  • truth

    First, got of of Rob Ryan, the dude was Better than Good….Great if you ask me. And as self-gloating as it might sound, friends, I know Football with the Best of Them!!!
    Let me give some examples or at the least jog some of your guys memory. Right off the bat, how many games or defensive stops were hampered because of injuries to starters and worse, with no “REAL” depth?, huh?? Well….??, huh?!
    Thank you guys, lol. Then, how many times did we see players commit stupid penalties???(triple question-mark)!! I remember such these penalties by both vets and rookies or newcomers, that it actually lost the game for Cowboys.
    This is not Rob’s fault. Why, because the leadership from the top not only sucks badly, but fails at every turn. We all know about Jerry’s interference of Coache’s duties and/or philosophies, especially when they scold a player. Jerry comes to their defense as to childishly wane for their respect, support and admonishment. As if Jerry is saying, forget what they say, I’m the one you should listen to and respect. Still trying his hardest to gain that attention Jimmy never gave him, lol…
    Of course, we also seen throughout the season how JG directly, and mostly indirectly, faulted JG for Cowboy losses when the whole world new it was JG’s shortcomings along with Romos’. I mean their last place redzone offense never fell off from their…the whole season for crying out loud!!!
    Rob Ryan did miracles with the personnel he had on paper and/or on the field. He stood by and tried to make it work despite all the hinderness from Jerry and player-personnel failures.