- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- From 1996 to 2008, Monte Kiffin ran one of the best defenses in the NFL, finishing in the top 10 in total defense in 11 of his 13 years.
In Kiffin’s 13 years as Tampa's defensive coordinator, the Buccaneers averaged 39 sacks, 19 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries a season.
Since Jerry Jones took over the Cowboys in 1989, the Cowboys have had only three seasons in which they had more than 19 picks, five seasons in which they had more than 12 fumble recoveries and six seasons in which they had more than 39 sacks. Four of those sack seasons came after the switch to the 3-4 and the arrival of DeMarcus Ware.
For far too long, the Cowboys have not been able to take the ball away on defense, regardless of who the coordinator was. They didn’t do it under Rob Ryan and couldn’t do it under Wade Phillips or Bill Parcells.
Turnovers and sacks change games.
Points matter most.
The Bucs allowed more than 300 points in a season three times with Kiffin as coordinator (and that’s taking into account returns for touchdowns). Since Jones took over the Cowboys, they have allowed more than 300 points in a season 15 times.
Kiffin has not coordinated an NFL defense in four years. He will be 73 in February.
If he turns out to be the Cowboys' next defensive coordinator, the only numbers Jones will care about will be interceptions, fumbles and sacks and points allowed; not age.