By Matthew Postins
It’s not official as of this writing, but when the Dallas Cowboys’ official Web site is reporting it, you have to admit it might as well be.
Less than 24 hours after interviewing with Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett, it appears Monte Kiffin has agreed to become the team’s next defensive coordinator.
The team has not released an official statement announcing the hiring nor announced a press conference. But multiple outlets are reporting the agreement.
Kiffin, 72, who most recently worked for his son, Lane, as the defensive coordinator at USC, resigned from the Trojans after the 2012 season, saying he wanted to pursue a job in the NFL. He would be the NFL’s second oldest assistant coach, behind Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who is 75.
It is believed the Cowboys are the only team he interviewed with. There was reported interest from Kansas City after Andy Reid was hired as coach last week, but no reported interview.
Kiffin’s hiring would represent a move back to the 4-3 defense, which the Cowboys played from their inception in 1960 until then-head coach Bill Parcells made the switch to the 3-4 in 2005. It also means the Cowboys would be playing Kiffin’s vaunted Tampa-2 defense, his version of the Cover 2, popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers more than a decade ago when Kiffin was the defensive coordinator and Tony Dungy was the head coach.
Kiffin was the defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay from 1996-2008. Eleven times his defenses were in the NFL’s Top 10 in total defense and scoring defense, a NFL record. During that time the Buccaneers won a Super Bowl in 2002, a season in which the Bucs led the NFL in total defense, scoring defense and interceptions.