Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Players believe in Monte Kiffin
By Calvin Watkins
CHICAGO -- After such a poor effort by the Cowboys' defense in the 45-28 loss to the Chicago Bears Monday night, several players were asked about the belief in coordinator Monte Kiffin's scheme.
"Why you would ask that question?" defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said. "You answer that."
The Cowboys allowed the Bears to score on eight consecutive possessions, and though the run defense did OK at times, Matt Forte rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries. Bears quarterback Josh McCown threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns.
"We didn’t play a fundamentally sound game this week," defensive end DeMarcus Ware said.
"They schemed us well and they knew what was coming most of the time," Hatcher said. "It's no excuse. We have to execute better and play better. We got outplayed."
The defensive scheme seems flawed at times with Kiffin dropping back defensive linemen into pass coverage. He dropped defensive tackle Nick Hayden into coverage and he failed to tackle a scrambling McCown on the way for a seven-yard touchdown run. Hatcher also fell back into pass coverage.
Kiffin continues to start rookie Jeff Heath over rookie J.J. Wilcox at free safety.
Rookie cornerback B.W. Webb was covering Alshon Jeffery in the back of the end zone and as Jeffery was snagging a wondering throw by McCown for the score. Heath arrived to help and instead of trying to knock the ball out he tried to push Jeffery out of bounds.
"It's one of those plays where afterward obviously you would have done it differently," Heath said. "It happens. I felt at the time I could get a shot on him, maybe."
Webb appeared confused on another touchdown pass in zone coverage in the first quarter. It looked as if he was supposed to cover the underneath portion of the field. When he didn't it left Earl Bennett open to make a touchdown reception which tied the game at 7-7.
The Cowboys dropped two interceptions in the second half, one by Orlando Scandrick in the end zone and another by Bruce Carter. Sterling Moore picked off a pass two plays after Carter's failure to force a turnover, but it was negated by a holding call on Brandon Carr.
"The system is there it's got everything to do with executing properly," middle linebacker Sean Lee said. "You can't give up big plays and we gave up too many big plays. We didn't get off the field on third down, basic stuff."
Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, praised for working with a banged up unit this season, said the group isn't frustrated.
"Just got to do our job," he said. "It ain't about frustrations. It's just do our job."