The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Grading the Monte Kiffin Hire

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At Dallas News, I graded the hire of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Earlier this week, I argued that we can’t grade the firing of Rob Ryan until we see who the Cowboys hire to replace him. With Monte Kiffin now officially the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, now is that time. Let’s take a look at Kiffin’s history.

Below, I’ve graphed the average rank of Kiffin’s defense in a number of categories during his 13-year reign in Tampa Bay from 1996 to 2008. Note that a lower rank is obviously better.

During his time in Tampa Bay, the Bucs’ defense posted an above-average rank in points, passing yards, rushing yards, net-YPA, YPC, and takeaways. Kiffin’s defenses were particularly stout against the pass with an average rank of fifth over a 13-year period. That number, along with an average rank of seventh in points allowed, is simply remarkable when you consider the sample size.

For a defensive coordinator known for his Cover 2 looks, Kiffin’s ranks in run defense are excellent. In general, run defense and pass defense are often inversely correlated; when a defense plays with two deep safeties, their run defense will suffer, and if they move a safety into the box to stop the run, their pass defense will suffer. If the Cowboys can maintain a league-average run defense in Kiffin’s scheme, that’s a win.

See the rest and the grade at DMN.

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