Cowboys had issues with Ryan’s scheme before last season

Posted Monday, Feb. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

When it comes to the current state of the Dallas Cowboys, vice-president Stephen Jones remains as uncomfortable and frustrated as his father, owner Jerry Jones.

"It’s always uncomfortable when we don’t win," Jones said. "I have been uncomfortable for a while now. Since we quit making the playoffs I have been uncomfortable."

That feeling only intensified when you consider after the Cowboys signed a team-record eight free agents to put a winner on field in 2012 only to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

"It’s just disappointing when, from a resource standpoint, we are doing everything we can to make that happen," Jones said. That’s it. It’s very frustrating to be right there and not get there."

Jones and the Cowboys are resolved to do better in 2013. They won’t be able to impact the team in free agency as they did last year because of salary cap issues.

But when you list the things the Cowboys felt they needed to do to improve in the off-season, revamping the staff and defensive philosophy trumped all, Jones said.

The Cowboys hired six new coaches, highlighted by the new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and his 4-3 defense in place of 3-4 scheme favored by the fired Rob Ryan

"Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all on the staff," Jones said. "But we were wanting to make a transition from our system, predominantly the defense. We had some guys to replace on offense. Changing system was a big to-do. Jason has done a helluva job getting the staff put together and that was a big focal point."

The Cowboys believe the players will fit well in the 4-3 defense. Jones is hoping the team gets the most benefit out of the change is philosophy. The Cowboys felt Ryan’s defense was too complicated and they wanted a simpler and more fundamentally-sound approach that Kiffin will bring.

According to Jones, this was a not a decision that happened over night following the season ending loss at Washington. It was a decision the Cowboys had been mulling dating back to Ryan’s first year with the team.

"Where we fundamentally came down with Rob is that his philosophy is about multiple scheme," Jones said. "I think you have to skinny it down. Philosophically, I don’t think Rob believes in that. And it’s not something that happened and all of a sudden at the end of the year we had a problem. I think Rob will tell you we had long visits about this in the off-season last year that there was too much scheme. He tried to cut it back and he did skinny it back, but it’s still a lot.

"This is no revelation we had after we went 8-8. This was after the year before’s 8-8. We just didn’t feel like at the end of the day Rob could skinny it back enough to our satisfaction that we could make plays."

When Jones talks about making plays, he means game-changing plays and turnovers.

Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Dallas ranks only 24th in turnovers. It has averaged 23.8 per season in that span, including a franchise-low 16 in 2012 under Ryan.

Kiffin was hired to help solve that.

In 13 years in Tampa, Kiffin’s Buccaneers averaged 31 takeaways a season. The Cowboys new defensive line coach, Rob Marinelli, was the defensive coordinator in Chicago last season when the Bears had an NFL-best 44 takeaways.

"Guys can’t play fast and guys can’t make plays when they are trying to think about what they are doing," Jones said. "When they looking to the safeties to see what coverage we are in and the ball is getting snapped, I think that makes it hard to play fast and hard to get turnovers. We were losing that turnover battle. If you look at most games when you lose the turnover battle, you lose the game. Unfortunately, in our scheme we weren’t creating turnovers."

 Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, September 19Full Scoreboard
Los Angeles «14Final | Box
Chicago Cubs5
Boston3Top 9th | Box
Baltimore3@theBallpark | TV: NESN, MASN
Toronto3Final | Box
NY Yankees «5
Milwaukee2Final | Box
Pittsburgh «4
Washington «3Final | Box
Miami2
Chicago WSox4Top 9th | Box
Tampa Bay3@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, Sun Sports
NY Mets2Top 9th | Box
Atlanta0@theBallpark | TV: SNY, FSN-S
Arizona2Top 7th | Box
Colorado11@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, ROOT-RM
Seattle8Top 6th | Box
Houston2@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-HOU
Detroit10Bottom 6th | Box
Kansas City0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, FSN-KC, ESPN 2
Cleveland4Top 8th | Box
Minnesota3@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Cincinnati1Top 8th | Box
St. Louis2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, FSN-MW
Philadelphia0Bottom 2nd | Box
Oakland2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, CSN-CA
Texas1Top 1st | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: TXA-21, FSN-W, MLB Net
San Francisco0Top 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD, MLB Net
Full Scoreboard
Friday, September 19Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Tampa Bay14Final | Box
Atlanta «56Gridiron Replay
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Detroit TV: FOX
Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
NY Giants TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FOX
Dallas 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Monday
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, September 19Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard