Dallas Cowboys: Tony Dungy

New scheme old hat for Matt Eberflus

May, 13, 2013
IRVING, Texas – Matt Eberflus came to the Cowboys in 2011 as Rob Ryan’s wingman.

When Ryan was jettisoned after the 2012 season, the Cowboys made sure they kept Eberflus, their linebackers coach, despite making the move from Ryan’s 3-4 to Monte Kiffin’s 4-3.

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Even though Eberflus’ only NFL experience is in the 3-4, he was largely a 4-3 defensive coordinator at Missouri where he developed ties with one of Kiffin’s disciples, Lovie Smith, and Tony Dungy.

“I met Lovie Smith in the early 2000s when he was in St. Louis and he came over to show us some of the system, and the next year we switched our defense to a 4-3,” Eberflus said. “In seven of the eight years we ran Lovie’s defense and we went up to the Colts and Tony Dungy. Every spring we’d go up to see Lovie in Chicago and put that system in, and they’re still running it at Missouri today.”

Eberflus, secondary coach Jerome Henderson, assistant secondary coach Joe Baker and defensive assistant Ben Bloom are the holdovers from Ryan’s staff remaining with Kiffin.

Eberflus said the terminology is the same that he used at Missouri.

“It’s helped immensely,” Eberflus said. “I’ve lived in that and worked in that for eight years now and now I’m really getting to the detail that Kif and (Rod Marinelli) want. From the pro system to the college system there’s a lot more details, but it’s fun to do and fun to go back to.”

Wade Phillips: Tony Dungy wasn't good QB

October, 15, 2010
IRVING, Texas -- Wade Phillips went into Mother Bear mode when informed of Tony Dungy’s comments on NBC regarding the affect of Tony Romo’s turnovers on his leadership ability.

Phillips offered politically correct praise about Dungy’s coaching ability but passive-aggressively attacking his credibility as an analyst.

“I know he told everybody that New Orleans was going to kill us last year and we had no chance,” Phillip said. “I don’t know his credibility that way, but I know as a coach, he was a heck of a coach.”

Then Phillips really got feisty, bringing up Dungy’s brief, ugly history as an NFL quarterback.

“We played against him when he was in Pittsburgh and he turned it over several times,” Phillips said. “We knocked [Terry] Bradshaw out of the game, and he came in. I believe he fumbled the first snap.”

Phillips was referring to the Houston Oilers’ 27-10 win over the Steelers on Oct. 9, 1977. Dungy, a college quarterback who played defensive back in the NFL, was forced into emergency duty under center when Bradshaw and backup Mike Kruczek were knocked out of the game. Dungy had more turnovers (four) than completions (three), throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles.

So, for the record, Dungy was a great coach, isn’t so hot as an analyst and was an awful quarterback?

“He wasn’t a very good quarterback,” Phillips said.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Dungy lacks the credibility to criticize the quarterbacks in the league. It’s just that Phillips gets sensitive when any of his players get called out.

Tony Dungy

Tony Romo invites Tony Dungy to Valley Ranch

October, 14, 2010
IRVING -- On Sunday night, former NFL coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy took what could be considered as a shot at Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

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After Romo threw three interceptions in the loss to the Tennessee Titans, Dungy said, "Part of being a leader at the quarterback position is protecting the football. You've got to do that to be a great quarterback."

When told of Dungy's comments on Thursday about turnovers, Romo agreed with it.

"He's right," Romo said. "That's a good statement. But if you look though I think a lot of it is the decision making process. We have to protect the football. That's part of it too."

In regards to Dungy questioning Romo's leadership skills, the quarterback said this.

"I'd invite him, same as Rex Ryan did. He can come along if he wants to see. He can see it anytime you're out here. That's just part of it. If you'd ask any of my coaches you'd probably get a different answer. if Tony Dungy was in here, it'd be the same way."

Of Romo's five interceptions, four have come on tipped passes. Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Martellus Bennett couldn't handle balls thrown their way. A pass to Witten was slightly behind him and the one to Bennett was high, however, it should have been grabbed. The other tipped pass was by the Titans Dave Ball, who was able to get his hands up when left tackle Doug Free missed a block.

Brooking: Dungy doesn't know Cowboys

December, 21, 2009
IRVING, Texas -- Tony Dungy's take on NBC that the Dallas Cowboys had "no chance" to upset the New Orleans Saints made for interesting viewing during Friday night's team meeting.

Several Cowboys were motivated by the ex-Colts coach's disrespect. Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware mentioned it without prompting in the aftermath of Saturday night's win at the Superdome.

But linebacker Keith Brooking, who has recent history putting members of the media in their place, pretty much shrugged his shoulders.

"What does Tony know about our football team?" Brooking said while visiting sick children Monday morning at the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. "Has Tony walked into our locker room? Does Tony know one of our players? Obviously, he has experience and he knows football, but has Tony Dungy broken down our game film week by week? No. He doesn’t know anything about our football team.

"He doesn’t know our locker room, the dynamics of our locker room, what we’re about, what we believe in. So what he says doesn’t really have any credibility to me, because he doesn’t know. I mean, that’s his opinion and he gets paid to give his opinion. Obviously, he’s very experienced and he knows football, but he doesn’t know the Dallas Cowboys this year in 2009 and what we’re about."

Wade Phillips figured Dungy's comments were worth sharing with the team, but he didn't seem too bothered by them.

Asked if Dungy violated a coaches' code of honor by counting out the Cowboys, Phillips' face broke into a big grin.

"Maybe he's part of the media," Phillips said. "I don't think they have a code of honor."

Dungy's dissing motivated Cowboys

December, 19, 2009
NEW ORLEANS -- Wade Phillips relied on a coach with a Super Bowl ring to motivate the Dallas Cowboys.

During a Friday night team meeting, Phillips played a tape of ex-Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy discussing the Cowboys' chances of upsetting the undefeated New Orleans Saints.

"He said we have no chance," quarterback Tony Romo said. "That was surprising from an ex-coach’s side of it, but it was able to motivate us. It was funny. We don’t normally go into a game thinking we have no chance, but a lot of people were thinking that."

Added outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware: "That sort of put gas on the fire. Once we watched that tape, we went to bed at night and let that marinate in our head."

Ware knew the Cowboys were ready to play when there was silence in the locker room before the game. No music, no talking, just a lot of guys focused on proving Dungy and millions of others wrong.