Thursday, January 31, 2013
How Dallas switches to 4-3
By Tim Kavanagh
The Dallas Cowboys are shifting their defensive strategy this offseason with the firing of Rob Ryan and the hiring of Monte Kiffin. Gone is the 3-4 that has been their preferred setup in recent campaigns, and Kiffin will be installing a version of his brand of the 4-3, commonly known as the Tampa-2. So how will this work?
Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com believes that the change will be greatest on the defensive line, owing to the uncertainty regarding Jay Ratliff -- whether the Cowboys cut him or not, the NFL may levy a suspension on the DT -- but also because their DE ranks are not set in stone, either. DeMarcus Ware will be on one side, but Anthony Spencer's future is up in the air, and there isn't a definite replacement.
One player who the Cowboys could bring in via free agency is Bears DT Henry Melton, who was molded by new Cowboys assistant Rod Marinelli. If they do that, there's a no-Spencer contingency plan whereby they can move DT Jason Hatcher outside to man the DE slot opposite Ware.
It appears that the Spencer decision will drive a lot of this, and so we await the final word on that in the coming weeks.