ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

NFL Commentary: Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator, Monte Kiffin, Breathing New Life into Once Helpless Defensive Unit

Updated on September 29, 2013

The Monte Kiffin Era Has Begun In Dallas.

It's a common fact that organizations are always looking to upgrade their franchises when the off season comes around. Regardless what the sport or the level of competition may be, there are always positions and areas that teams are wanting to improve in.

Whenever there are significant changes made to any professional team; being coaching or player personnel changes, fans in a typical fashion express a degree of concern and skepticism. Before the 2013 NFL season began, one of the several concerns I had for the Dallas Cowboys was their defense.

Lets keep it real; It's not hard to fathom why any fan of the Cowboys would be a tad bit worried about where the defense would stand heading into this season. The brutal honesty is that the Cowboys defense hasn't looked all that good in recent years. This honest revelation has been one of the main reasons why the Cowboys have been a mediocre team at best.

The Dallas Cowboys organization made several key coaching changes for 2013 on both sides of the ball. It can be argued that several of those changes were made to address a defense that struggled to create turnovers under the guidance of former Cowboys defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan.

It appeared that Cowboys owner and general manger Jerry Jones had more than enough of the frequent blown assignments and botched coverage's the Cowboys defense displayed throughout the Rob Ryan era. Now Ryan is out, and the era of Monte Kiffin has now began in Dallas. Although the season is still young, this coaching change appears to be paying off thus far.


Kiffin's Achievements, and New Philosophy In Dallas.

Monte Kiffin is held in high regards among football circles. The 73 year old Kiffin has experienced success at both the NFL and collegiate levels of football both as a defensive coordinator, and as a defensive positions coach.

Some of Kiffin's achievements and accolades include a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XXXVII as defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also holds an NFL record for his defensive units ranking in the top 10 in yards and points allowed over a ten year period. Kiffin's achievements as a defensive coordinator are both impressive and admired by many football enthusiasts. However, I couldn't help express a bit of skepticism, especially with how bad the Cowboys defense has been in recent years. I was beginning to wonder if anyone could help fix the problems with the defense.

The Cowboys defensively for several years have had the personnel to do well. Talent hasn't been the problem. What seemed to be lacking was a defensive minded coach that would bring a philosophy the players would believe in and buy into. Rob Ryan, though not as accomplished as Monte Kiffin as a defensive coordinator, wasn't seen as a bad defensive coordinator. In fact, Ryan appears to be having some success this season with the New Orleans Saints. What the Cowboys defense lacked under Ryan was that discipline, coupled with a tenacity and fire for creating turnovers.

Enter Monte Kiffin, who has brought a completely new scheme and philosophy to the Cowboys defense. Kiffin's scheme has the Cowboys going back to a base 4-3 defense, which is what the Cowboys had success with in the mid 1990's. Kiffin's changes also have several key defensive players changing positions. One of those players is Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Demarcus Ware, who now is playing defensive end.

As I mentioned earlier, there is always a bit of worry when drastic changes are made. Normally, it takes more than one season for players to adapt to a new coach, a new mindset, and a brand new style of play. Surprisingly enough, it seems that the Cowboys defensive players have adapted well so far under Monte Kiffin's style.


Promising Play For 2013.

For all of the doubts I initially had of how improved the Cowboys defense would be this season, I personally feel that Monte Kiffin has helped breathe new life into a once lifeless Dallas Cowboy defense. True enough it's only been three games into this still new NFL season, but the Dallas Cowboys defense looks more active and rejuvenated under Kiffin. Don't take my word for it, just take a look at the statistics.

Week one of the 2013 season saw the Cowboys facing one of their division rivals, the New York Giants. Since the Cowboys started playing in AT&T Stadium back in 2009, the Giants have totally had their way with the Cowboys. Before the 2013 season, the Giants were 4-0 playing against the Cowboys in AT&T Stadium. That all changed when the Cowboys defeated the Giants 36-31 to start off this season. The victory psychologically was important for the Cowboys, but the fashion in which they won was what stuck out to me.

The Cowboys defense was the primary reason why they defeated the Giants. Dallas forced Giants quarterback Eli Manning into 3 interceptions in week 1. The Cowboys also finished the game with six total takeaways against the Giants. In 2012, the Cowboys defense had 16 total takeaways all season long, and they managed six in one game this year. Turnovers are often the deciding factor in which team wins or lose a game, and those takeaways forced by Dallas arguably were the reason why the Cowboys were able to claim the narrow victory over New York.

Still not convinced that the Cowboys defense is improved under Kiffin? The Cowboys defense also managed to make things rough for St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in their 31-7 victory over the Rams in week 3. Bradford was sacked six times by the Cowboys, and spent much of the game hurried and uncomfortable.

The Cowboys defense currently ranks second in the league in rushing yards allowed per game(66.3). To add to the optimism and express the significance of Monte Kiffin, the Cowboys defense has managed to play well without defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who has been out with a hamstring and groin problems. The Cowboys have also lost linebacker Anthony Spencer, who will undergo season ending knee surgery after appearing in only one game.

Will the Dallas Cowboys defense maintain a high level of play throughout the 2013 NFL season?

See results

Still Early In the Season.

Now lets get down to the truth, because many fans of the Dallas Cowboys tend to get ahead of themselves after a few victories. Okay, the Dallas Cowboys are indeed 2-1 heading into week 4, but that doesn't mean there still isn't room for improvement. To be quite fair, most people don't consider the New York Giants, Kansas Chiefs, or the St. Louis Rams to be offensively gifted teams this season. I'll concede that thought is true, but I'm still going to give the Cowboys defense their just do anyway.

Whether or not your sold on the Cowboys defense, the Cowboys defensive personnel appears to be much more disciplined and focused now. As a fan, it's great to see a positive change. With every NFL Sunday that passes, it appears that the players are becoming more familar with Monte Kiffin's coaching mentality. Through three games, the Cowboys defense so far has generated 13 sacks along with 3 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. These early numbers puts them on a pace to outperform their meager numbers from the 2012 NFL campaign.

If you're a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I suggest you keep your expectations in check. There are still questions as to whether or not the Cowboys defense will be able to sustain this level of play throughout 2013. It's still very early in the season, and there is a lot of football left to be played. However, it's clearly evident that the Cowboys defense is in much better hands under the tutelage of Monte Kiffin, which I'm sure is welcoming to the Cowboys fan faithful.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • prospectboy profile imageAUTHOR

      Bradrick H. 

      5 years ago from Texas

      @Paul Edmondson, You're probably right about that, and they've already suffered the loss of linebacker Anthony Spencer for the rest of the season. I just hope they can stay healthy this year.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I think the Cowboys had too many injuries last year for the defense to hold up.

    • prospectboy profile imageAUTHOR

      Bradrick H. 

      5 years ago from Texas

      @Paul Edmondson, Yes it's very interesting indeed, especially considering his age. Looks like Rob Ryan was a better fit for the Saints. It just happens that way sometimes. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      It's interesting that he is doing well. Also interesting is the guy he replaced (Rob Ryan) looks like he is doing well for the Saints.

    • prospectboy profile imageAUTHOR

      Bradrick H. 

      5 years ago from Texas

      @RonElFran, I'm a fan and I'm still skeptical about the Cowboys. I've been down this road where they look good early on, and them self-implode down the stretch. I just think it's encouraging that their defense looks much more disciplined. Thanks for taking out the time to read this.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      The Cowboy defense might be improved, but I'm still a skeptic about that team. Maybe that has something to do with living in the Philadelphia area and hating the Cowboys. Just maybe.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)