Should Dallas Cowboys Switch Back to the 3-4 Scheme?

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Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is tackled by the Dallas Cowboys defense during the third quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is tackled by the Dallas Cowboys defense during the third quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys defense in 2013 was historically bad. In fact, it was the worst unit in franchise history, statistically speaking.

First-year defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, despite having been a 4-3 defensive mastermind for decades, was unable to bring forth much in the way of progress concerning a unit that was almost as bad in 2012, the last season Dallas ran the 3-4 alignment under former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Kiffin’s struggles had absolutely nothing to do with his age, as some have suggested. The game certainly hasn’t passed beyond the reach of a professional coach of Kiffin’s experience.

On the contrary, a plague of injuries to the Dallas front seven was the primary reason that the Cowboys were stuck in neutral during most of last season. For those who will point to Kiffin’s struggles at USC prior to coming to Dallas, I would simply refer you to the Trojan’s situation with the NCAA and a loss in scholarships as the primary killer of that particular run at Southern Cal.

Now comes word that Dallas defensive line coach Rod Marinelli plans to join new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith. This move makes some sense given Marinelli’s history with Smith while the two were with the Chicago Bears not long ago.

Marinelli and Kiffin also have close ties—but those ties might not be close enough.

So what if Marinelli goes?

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