If you’re even remotely familiar with the Dallas Cowboys, then you know the team’s primary problem is owner/general manager Jerry Jones, who creates a negative domino effect on the entire organization. He meddles in every aspect of the team, especially when it comes to coaching, and that’s why the Cowboys have a sub-.500 record since the end of the Jimmy Johnson era. But heading into Dallas’ bye in Week 11 of the 2013 NFL season, Jones’ meddling may actually do some good.
The Cowboys’ play-calling has been horrendous this year on both sides of the ball. Dallas fans are used to boneheaded decisions by the team’s offensive coordinator, but now the defense is suffering from the same fate. There are many possible causes for that — including the fact other teams may have figured out Monte Kiffin’s “outdated” Tampa 2 coverage scheme — but something has to change for the Cowboys to avoid yet another disappointing 8-8 season despite all their injuries on defense.
On his weekly Dallas radio show, Jones said his team needs to play more man coverage, which is what Rob Ryan did when the team brought in Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr in 2012. Clearly, Kiffin’s zone scheme isn’t working as the Cowboys rank dead last in the NFL in yards allowed and are flirting with history as the worst statistical defense of all time. Now usually, Jones saying something like this could only have a negative effect on the team, but in this case, he’s right.
Just because the Cowboys now run a 4-3 base defense doesn’t mean they have to continue running the Tampa 2 cover scheme. The 4-3 has worked wonders for Dallas’ pass rush and linebackers, but the secondary has been torched all year long, which is the main reason why the Cowboys are 5-5 heading into their Week 11 bye.
The other positive thing Jerry said on Tuesday was that he won’t make any coaching changes midseason. Of course, he said that in 2010 when he gave Wade Phillips the boot after Week 9, so take that with a grain of salt. But at least Jones is giving the impression that he won’t change anything from a personnel standpoint. That’s especially comforting to Dallas fans considering he simply answered “no” when asked if Jason Garrett would take the offensive play-calling duties back from Bill Callahan. Big sigh of relief there for Cowboys fans.
Of course, Kiffin is going to change something because Jones writes the checks. What remains to be seen is exactly what those changes are and whether or not they work. The Cowboys have two weeks to get it all straight before we find out.