Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Thursday, January 9, 2014
Cowboys faced Jay Gruden in 2012

By Calvin Watkins

With Jay Gruden taking the Washington Redskins job on Thursday, it brings another offensive mind to the NFC East.

Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles hired offensive-minded Chip Kelly to bring havoc to the division. The Dallas Cowboys split two games with the Eagles this season, which included losing the regular-season finale at AT&T Stadium, 24-22.

You could say in both games, the Cowboys' defense held it's own.

What would the Cowboys do against Gruden?

Gruden was the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator before taking the Redskins gig.

In 2012, the Cowboys visited the Bengals and earned an emotional 20-19 victory. The game occurred just 24 hours after the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown.

The Bengals' offense gained 336 total yards, but the Cowboys won the game on a Dan Bailey 40-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

Of course, the Bengals have different personnel than the Redskins, but a recap of the 2012 game shows the Bengals receivers dropped numerous passes and Gruden made some questionable decisions. Gruden kept passing the ball, 33 pass attempts from Andy Dalton, instead of sticking with a run game, where BenJarivs Green-Ellis rushed for 89 yards on just 12 carries.

Gruden won't be the only new face to the division. With the New York Giants firing offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, Monte Kiffin will have to prepare for another new play-caller.

Kiffin had some good moments against Kelly in 2013, but overall his defense was pretty bad.

It doesn't get easier with Gruden coming to the division.