Dallas Cowboys: Why Jerry Jones Really Hired Monte Kiffin as DC
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
When Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones announced following the end of his team's season that "changes were in order", not many thought the firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan made sense. Moreover, media members and fans were left scratching their heads when Jones named former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin to replace him.
Kiffin, 72, left USC after a ruinous run coaching under his son, Lane. And now the architect of the Tampa 2 defense will take over a Cowboys unit specifically designed for a 3-4 scheme.
The hire doesn't appear to make a whole lot of sense. The 'Boys certainly are not a 72-year-old defensive guru away from a Super Bowl run in 2013, and the mere fact that Kiffin will run the Tampa 2/ 4-3 and not the 3-4 the Cowboys already have the framework for does not inspire a whole lot of confidence for a quick change.
So why did Jerry really hire Kiffin? It's a safe play.
Yes, Cowboys fans are used to the song-and-dance routine Mr. Jones does following a disappointing season. Usually something about change to give his consumers/fans hope. Only this decision is not necessarily about change with a big name such as Kiffin. No, instead it's about another name—Jason Garrett.
Jones already said Garrett is the guy for next season. But with just one year left on his four-year contract after 2013, next season Garrett will likely be coaching for his job.
What does Garrett's success have to do with the Kiffin hire? Well, in most cases when an NFL head coach gets canned, so does the rest of the coaching staff.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Oh, Jerry, how clever.
This is a win-win situation for Jerry Jones as he has seemingly bought another year with fans by bringing in a coach with the resume of Kiffin.
By the end of the 2013 season, Jones will know if Garrett is his head coach for the future because a successful campaign will likely bring up contract extension talks shortly after. And if there was not enough pressure on Garrett already, Jones has hinted at removing the Princeton graduate's play-calling duties on offense next season.
If it works out and the Cowboys have a successful 2013 season—a playoff win—then no significant changes will likely come out of Valley Ranch. However, if Dallas finishes with another 8-8 record or worse, the walking papers will be dispersed among coaches, with the names Garrett and Kiffin among them.
At that point, fans will expect more of the same from Jones in the realm of promising swift change. After all, it was Jones who said this team's window is getting shorter.
But until then, Cowboys fans will have to endure one make-or-break season by Garrett, who will be coaching for more than just his job.
Follow me on Twitter @JGsportsguy
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?