Jerry Jones takes a chance keeping Kiffin

January, 20, 2014
1/20/14
11:00
AM ET
MOBILE, Ala. -- If the Cowboys were going to make a change to the top of the defensive staff, meaning let go of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, it would have happened by now.

Owner Jerry Jones had a chance to rid himself of Kiffin when the 2013 season ended. There were several head coaches who were fired once the season ended in Minnesota's Leslie Frazier and Detroit's Jim Schwartz, who could have been perfect to run the Cowboys' 4-3 Tampa 2 scheme.

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Kiffin changed from the Tampa 2 scheme at times to play more man-to-man defense to utilize the skill set of corners Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne.

Kiffin wasn't against change to the scheme, he just needed to players to produce in it.

As the Cowboys come to view Senior Bowl practices, it seems Kiffin isn't going anywhere.

The goal for the Cowboys now is to upgrade the talent so Kiffin can maximize it.

Jones fired Rob Ryan after two seasons because of a complex defense and an inability to stop anybody. Jones mentioned how injuries hampered Ryan but didn't say too much about the personnel.

Kiffin endured injuries too but the personnel in some areas have regressed.

The veteran defensive coordinator is determined to fix the defense regardless of the injuries and poor play the Cowboys had in 2013.

Kiffin's biggest problem is the defensive line and secondary play against the pass. There were too many open receivers and not enough pass rush in 2013.

You can blame Kiffin if you want or the players on the field. Whatever the problems are, Jones elected to keep Kiffin in charge of the defense, and will fix the personnel through the draft.

At the end of the 2014 season, the Cowboys' defense better see improvement, if not, keeping Kiffin would be considered another mistake by the general manager especially if he upgrades the talent.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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