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Monte Kiffin: 3-4 or 4-3 doesn’t matter


Amid all the talk about new Dallas defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin changing the Cowboys from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front, Kiffin himself says that talk is largely overblown.

“They drafted for a 3-4 defense here, but believe it or not, you actually do have some people that can play a 4-3,” Kiffin told reporters Thursday. “A 3-4 or 4-3 doesn’t matter. Last time I checked you’ve got 11 guys on the field. Not eight, not nine, not 10 — we have 12, that’s not good, either, you get a penalty. But you’ve got 11 guys out there and it doesn’t matter 3-4 or 4-3.”

Between new offensive coordinator Bill Callahan saying it doesn’t matter who calls the plays and now Kiffin saying it doesn’t matter what kind of defense they run, one almost wonders why the Cowboys even bothered to hire a coaching staff. But Kiffin said that what really matters is that his players play hard, play fast and play together as a team.

Kiffin also said he’s been surprised that every time he sees himself mentioned in the media, he sees his age, 72, mentioned alongside his name.

“I thought it was a jersey number,” Kiffin said. “But don’t worry about me. Some people are 72 going on 80. I’m 72 going on 52. I feel great.”

Cowboys fans will feel great if Kiffin’s 4-3 gets better results than Rob Ryan’s 3-4.

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30 Responses to “Monte Kiffin: 3-4 or 4-3 doesn’t matter”
  1. bminder1972 says: Feb 15, 2013 6:40 AM

    he’s right too. as long as tony oh-no is the qb they arent going to the post-season. If they do make it, the cowboys are just nfc east fodder , giving other nfc teams an easy win in the post-season.

  2. helloanybodyhome says: Feb 15, 2013 6:58 AM

    “A 3-4 or 4-3 doesn’t matter”

    It matters a whole lot in matching the system to the players available. Maybe he’s 72 going on senile.

  3. dafedub says: Feb 15, 2013 7:11 AM

    Actually it does matter. 3-4 has 2 middle linebackers and 4-3 has 2 tackles. Do you have 2 good MLB or DT?

  4. vmannj says: Feb 15, 2013 7:19 AM

    Rob Ryan tried to play with 12 plenty of times last year. It didn’t help.

    I’ll be interested to see how many times during practices this summer we hear Cowboys players making a reference to the defense being less confusing under Kiffin.

  5. tv426 says: Feb 15, 2013 7:42 AM

    And none of it will matter as long as JJ thinks he is a coach and GM.

  6. gmemm says: Feb 15, 2013 7:52 AM

    Mock my words. Dallas will have a top 10 defense next season, people who state we suck have no concept of football outside of what they are told on ESPN

  7. starfan79 says: Feb 15, 2013 8:10 AM

    It’s one or the other, defense and offense never seem to be clicking at the same time.. No consistency. I like the coaches brought in, still not a fan of a coach that can’t read a clock but what are you gonna do?

  8. larrydavid7000 says: Feb 15, 2013 8:11 AM

    yes it dose 70 year old man. see already his mind is going. good move jerry keep up the good work.

  9. jerryyouradisgrace says: Feb 15, 2013 8:15 AM

    Well there you have it…translation were gonna be 8-8 no matter what

  10. tundey says: Feb 15, 2013 8:33 AM

    of course it matters. Otherwise why do those formations exists and you have players that excel at one but not the other? It matters. You can say it’s not a predictor of success but to say it doesn’t matter is to be disingenuous. I hate these coaches that talk to press and fans as if they have a monopoly on football knowledge and common sense.

  11. nfloracle says: Feb 15, 2013 8:49 AM

    Of course it doesn’t matter what kind of defense or offense you’re running because you have Jerry Jones as GM… and that means total chaos 95% of the time.

  12. solomon151 says: Feb 15, 2013 9:06 AM

    gmemm says:
    Feb 15, 2013 7:52 AM
    Mock my words. Dallas will have a top 10 defense next season, people who state we suck have no concept of football outside of what they are told on ESPN

    I couldnt like this comment more than once, So, I’ll just repost it. LOL

  13. raiderlyfe510 says: Feb 15, 2013 9:24 AM

    This would have been a helluva coaching staff…….10 years ago.

  14. darocnessmonsta says: Feb 15, 2013 9:25 AM

    Geez people look at what he’s saying all he is saying is it doesnt matter in the sense that if your players not playing assignment sound, playing with heart and passion for the game it doesnt matter what defense u run your team will fail. Im a Cowboys Fan and he is right too many guys on that defense without heart and fight in them!!!

  15. bminder1972 says: Feb 15, 2013 9:29 AM

    as i said at the top of the posts, it doesnt matter as long as tony oh-no is the qb. and jerry jones being the gm. and for everyone bashing us for bashing the ‘boys, lets be clear. I WAS a cowboy fan for 39 years, good and bad. gone are the good ole days, when they were feard, now they are mocked. im sick of the circus. they need to call themselves “Jets2.0”

  16. xli2006 says: Feb 15, 2013 9:39 AM

    Doesn’t matter to who/what?

    It sure matters to personnel. It matters what type of DE/OLBs you have. Small pass rushers that may thrive in a 4-3 don’t hold up well in a 3-4. Blitz’s are different, the DT/NT schemes are a little different.

    Kiffin is a very intelligent and well respected coach, but there is a noticeable difference between a 4-3 and 3-4 especially when trying to transition between the 2.

  17. vmannj says: Feb 15, 2013 9:41 AM

    I hope the switch DOES make a difference. DWare is far and away the best pass rusher on the team. At the age of 30+, he doesn’t need to be dropping into coverage as an OLB over 100 times a season.

  18. sowcrates says: Feb 15, 2013 9:42 AM

    13 years as Tampa’s DC, they finished worse than 10th overall in points allowed just twice. All while having an offense that finished better than 15th in total points scored just once. And no, even when Tampa Bay’s defense scored the most points ever, Tampa was still only 15th in points.

    Suffice to say this guy knows his defense. Provided that nothing physical is wrong with them, Ratliff, Ware, both of their quality cornerbacks…these guys will find ways to be productive in a 4-3.

  19. sowcrates says: Feb 15, 2013 9:45 AM

    …And when you’re thinking about Monte Kiffin defenses, I guarantee Anthony “Booger” McFarland and Shelton Quarrels aren’t the first guys in your head, so ease up on the “Which do you have? 2 good MLBs or 2 good DTs?” talk.

    Jay Ratliff is not as good as Warren Sapp, but he can provide an interior threat to the QB. The MLB and 2nd DT are just there to take advantage of the distraction Ratliff provides and don’t need to be outstanding players.

  20. kingdm8 says: Feb 15, 2013 9:46 AM

    It really doesn’t matter. With the way defensive coaches use multiple fronts and personnel packages the days of the labeled defenses are really over. If you watch the way defenses line up on Sundays then you’ll notice that often times the “3-4” teams line up in four man fronts pretty often. The “4-3” teams play with 3 man fronts also.

  21. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 15, 2013 9:46 AM

    Kiffin’s age is not an issue with me at all. But I do have concerns that it was years ago when he had success at the NFL level and that at USC last year, his defense was not that great at all.

    I agree with him that the main thing is getting guys to tackle better and creating turnovers.

  22. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 15, 2013 9:48 AM

    Kiffin’s age is no issue with me.

    But I am concerned that his defense at USC was not very good last year and it has been several years since he coached at the NFL level.

    I agree that the main thing is getting guys to tackle better and create turnovers.

  23. rayray5227 says: Feb 15, 2013 9:54 AM

    Kiffen was one of the greater defensive coaches in the league before he left for USC. And if we look around the league, Pats play a very hybrid defense. They have 3-4 and a 4-3 setup. Ravens mix it up like that too. I think he knows what he’s doing.

  24. slickster35 says: Feb 15, 2013 10:20 AM

    If you weren’t satisfied with Carr playing man coverage last year wait till you see him in cover 2. Get ready for the 15 yard cushions and a completion EVERY down. And that was against a teams #2. Now that he’s your #1 CB it’s gonna get uglier against those ones.

  25. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Feb 15, 2013 10:43 AM

    Kiffin’s right. They will continue to be irrelevant no matter what the defensive scheme.

  26. mazblast says: Feb 15, 2013 11:33 AM

    Someone should wake up Kiffin and tell him that you also get a penalty for having only 8, 9, or 10 men on the field.

  27. zack2482 says: Feb 15, 2013 11:34 AM

    For all the people concerned about his age, Dallas has that covered. Did you forget that we have Marinelli on staff? If you forgot he was the DC for the Bears last year. So essentially we have two coordinators in place. And for those that think you can’t run press coverage with this defense, you obviously don’t know much about football. Take a look a Seattle.

  28. jbones77 says: Feb 15, 2013 11:46 AM

    Good to see all these commenters that know more about coaching defense than a guy who’s been doing it for half a century.

  29. cappa662 says: Feb 15, 2013 11:48 AM

    Monte was horrible at USC. Last year’s USC defense was one of the worst ever.

  30. mrphatal says: Feb 15, 2013 11:51 AM

    So Monte What you planning to install here 3-4?

    Monte: 3-4 3-5 what ever it takes!

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