The Renny Rant - Kiffin's and Landry's Inventions Join Together in 2013

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You want to know how to create an elite defense in the National Football League? Simple really; take two defensive mastermind’s inventions, roll them into one and add a talented healthy defensive roster. This perfect combination of football greatness will be present in Dallas in 2013.

We all know Tom Landry’s brilliance by now. The man invented the 4-3 alignment when the majority of the NFL was still using the 5-2 front. It was his masterful genius to pull a defender off the defensive line and make that defender his brand new middle linebacker. And when the rest of the NFL caught up to speed and began using his invention, the brilliance that was Tom Landry invented his own offensive wrinkle to beat his own 4-3 scheme.


Oct 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin during the game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. USC defeated Utah 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

That’s Tom Landry, which brings us to the other defensive mastermind, Monte Kiffin, now 73 years young. Kiffin’s invention, the “Tampa 2,” a cousin of Tony Dungy’s Cover 2, was perfected during his years in Tampa Bay (1996-2008).

Kiffin’s scheme really calls for four things: 1) Speed 2) Preventing touchdowns 3) Creating turnovers and finally, 4) Attack, Attack and Attack! I don’t know about yall, but I would kill for preventing late touchdowns and creating an abundance of turnovers, all the while attacking the opposing offense with speed.

The numbers over Kiffin’s tenure with the Buccaneers are staggering to say the least. His defensive units, consisting of defensive greats; Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Simeon Rice, Shelton Quarles and Ronde Barber, finished in the top 10 in points allowed AND yards allowed ten times during his 13 years in Tampa Bay. Translation…NFL record.

Further, his defenses’ averaged 39 sacks, 19 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries a season during that same span with the Bucs. That’s AVERAGED folks! Translation as mentioned…STAGGERING.

Our Dallas Cowboys had a mere seven interceptions last season with newly acquired cornerback Brandon Carr leading the team with three. We finished with only 16 total turnovers and a minus-13 turnover margin (27th in the league).  As a team, in the last five seasons, we have finished in the top 10 in interceptions ONCE.

Want to know the last time our ‘Boys boasted the league’s top ranked defense? 2003

2003? Bill Parcells’ first year with the team where we finished a surprising 10-6 and qualified for “The Tournament?” The year of the immortal Quincy Carter and leading rusher Troy Hambrick?

Yes, that year, as in ten years ago, and the offense got plenty of help from the defense. When you go back and look at some of the names, it’s really not surprising. That 2003 top ranked defense included: La’Roi Glover and Greg Ellis in his prime on the line, Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen at linebacker, and in the secondary, 5th overall pick Terrence Newman at cornerback, second year stud Roy Williams at safety and long-time safety Darren Woodson in his last year on the field. But that was it; 2003 was the last time we finished the year with the #1 overall defense.

Either way, I digress. That’s why I call these my “Rants.” I’ll get to my point

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Tags: 2003 Cowboys Defense 4-3 Defense Anthony Spencer Brandon Carr Bruce Carter Cowboys Statistics Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Jay Ratliff Monte Kiffin Morris Claiborne Rob Ryan Sean Lee The Landry Hat Tom Landry

  • Old Frog

    I love the optimism but without a dominant O-line I’m still predicting 8 and 8 – maybe 9 and 7 but still no ticket to the NFC Championship.

    • Cowgirlcas22

      I am predicting 6-10 to 8-8 at best. JJ has created a depth nightmare with the switch and then created another need by cutting Sensy. No Sensy wasn’t a stud safety, but he was serviceable. Now JJ has to get a safety. Once again the offensive line will get neglected to accommodate all the holes JJ created this offseason.

  • Cowgirlcas22

    excellent article and you made some good points: the problem is, we only have 2 speedy athletic LB’s who are both yet to complete a season healthy. We don’t have a single speedy cover safety and the biggest knock on Claiborne is his lack of physicality, inability to get off of blocks and a poor open field tackler. This, to me, is a recipe for disaster. JJ signed CB’s who were position oriented to RR’s style of defense. Most of the LB’s on the team were 3-4 LB’s. JJ has created a depth nightmare.

    It’s a good defense and Kiffin is a great coach, but keep in mind RR has 3 rings as a LB coach in NE and boasted the #1 defense in Oakland. He also had the Cowboys defense #1 up until all the injuries started piling up. The problem in Dallas hasn’t been the coaches, it has been JJ’s players who were either too lazy or too stupid to learn the scheme. In spite of having 7 starters out, RR still kept the Cowboys in a position to win, but JG’s offense, 31st in rushing, 26th in the red zone and tied for 1st in the NFL for penalties, kept the defense on the field too much and they got tired. His poor play calling and clock MGMT only added to the demise of the Cowboys. JJ can keep hiring and firing coaches in an attempt to appease the fans, but he is the center of the problem,