It’s defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s first year with the Cowboys, but he seems to be fitting right in.
In recent years, there’s been a steady cycle around the Cowboys that sees owner Jerry Jones make a proclamation about something on the football side before coach Jason Garrett is asked about the issue and gives an answer that isn’t on the same page. Jones recently said that he doesn’t “have any desire” to see injured defensive tackle Jay Ratliff make plays in the preseason. Kiffin has a different opinion when it comes to Ratliff and defensive end Anthony Spencer, who will be out another couple of weeks after knee surgery.
“It’s really important that they get some time,” Kiffin said, via Matt Mosley. “It’s hurting us a little bit as we put everything together.”
With Kiffin installing a new defensive scheme in Dallas, there’s probably more desire to have veteran players active in the preseason than there might be if the Cowboys were still running their old system. While there’s no sign at this point that either absence will extend into the regular season, the Cowboys can’t really afford to have significant growing pains once the regular season is underway if they want to avoid another year without a postseason berth.