May 10, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin directs a drill during the rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters in Irving, TX. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Defense: No Country For Old Men

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is bringing sexy back. Yup.

If you think this game is for young men, you are wrong.

Something is different in Dallas. Admit it.

After finishing 31st in rushing (worst in team history), The Dallas Cowboys needed to be different with the running game. They needed to be different with the offensive line. Add play calling too. But who would have thought that the ignition in different meant “defense.”

Out with the old (Rob Ryan) and in with the new (Monte Kiffin). Or, if you prefer: Out with the young guy and in with the grandpa.

Rob Ryan is a good defensive coordinator. He will go on to have success at New Orleans; this success might even propel him into a head coach some day.

Did the Cowboys use him as a scapegoat? Yes, they did. Did the Cowboys over look injuries on the defensive side last season? Yes, they did. Could the Cowboys have thrown Ryan a bone, and kept him? Yes, they could have.

Was firing Rob Ryan the right move? Yes, in fact, it was.

Why?

Because the Cowboys are better suited for a 4-3 defense. Because Monte Kiffin and staff (Rob Marinelli) are the gentlemen for the job. Because maybe for the first time in years, the Cowboys are regretting going to a 3-4 defense under Bill Parcells — first time in team history.

Because maybe, finishing 14th (2011) and 19th (2012) in defense isn’t good enough. (The Cowboys finished 8-8 in each of those seasons under Rob Ryan.)

Because since going to a 3-4 defense in 2005, the franchise has only put up a 1-3 playoff record.

Logic says the Cowboys have only played two pre-season games. Just two! This could all melt when this stuff gets real.

Aug 9, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn (15) rushes for a first down in the first quarter in an preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Well, screw logic. Go wild. Go really wild Dallas.

After another disappointing elimination game last season, and a controversial 2013 NFL Draft, the Cowboys could use some crazy. Especially on the field. And this “crazy” is what Monte Kiffin is preaching.

There is some real comfort out there. Defenders are zipping through faster. They are sticking to the ball like a Starbucks cup sticks to a ten-dollar bill. The defense, at the moment, is finally meeting their potential.

This potential, this talent on the team, makes Dallas real. Legit. Maybe this is how it was supposed to be all along.

And for the first time since Mike Zimmer (defensive coordinator at Cincinnati Bengals), fans have something to watch when they don’t have the ball.

If this defensive mentality carries over into the regular season, opponents better Monte up.

The defensive reboot is near completion.

My Quick Shots:

• Tony Romo makes fans appreciate his improvisation. With a defender just a few feet in front of the quarterback, dead to rights, Romo executed a pump fake that drew in the entire Raider secondary and sidelines. Bryant then slanted in the middle catching the ball for a 26-yard gain.

• Does somebody want to Tweet cornerback Mike Jenkins — former 2008 Cowboy first round pick — to see if he is okay? Dude got bolted by Dez Bryant, prompting his helmet to hit the grass. Not going to lie, I replayed my DVR to see DB crash into Jenkins a few times.

Hey, this is what you call foreshadowing. Dez Bryant + Healthy = Scary

• Sean Lee meets the quarterback — again. Poor Matt Flynn. He’s probably such a nice guy. He probably got up thinking dang, this is only pre-season man. Am I Seattle now?

 

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Tags: Dez Bryant Monte Kiffin Nfl Offseason Sean Lee The Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo

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