DIVINE INTERVENTION: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggest changes, but not in the coaching ranks

DIVINE INTERVENTION - Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggest changes, but not in the coaching ranks - Bill Callahan and Monte Kiffin

IRVING, Texas –  While the Dallas Cowboys will have a chance to get healthy and possibly make a few adjustments during the bye week, changes in the coaching staff are not expected.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said this morning on his weekly radio show on 105.3 “The Fan” that he doesn’t anticipate any staff changes, and that includes the defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and the play-calling duties for Bill Callahan.

“I don’t know if you have much choice as to what you’re doing in the bye week,” Jones said. “We certainly want to emphasize the good things that can be done. I’m not even going to address coaching staff, as to where they’re safe or not. Obviously, here we’ve got 3-4 days this week and go into next week and we’re 5-5, we’re tied for the lead in our division. We’ve got players coming back. We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. We’re off a rough loss. That doesn’t call for major changes out here at all.”

Jones emphatically said “no” when asked point blank if Jason Garrett would take over for Bill Callahan in the play-calling duties.

One change Jones did say regarding the defense is the play of more man-to-man coverage with the secondary and less zone. In fact, during the some 12-minute interview, Jones made two references to playing more man.

“We need to look at what each of these guys do the best,” Jones said. “Basically, I’m talking about our corners. Can we get our corners playing more man and less zone, those are kind of things (to change) when the bye week comes along.”

Here are some other points Jones said this morning:

  • Wide receiver Miles Austin is expected to return to action against the Giants after the bye week. Jones said Austin should have a “clean bill of health” after missing six of the last eight games with a hamstring injury.
  • Speaking of hamstrings, both Sean Lee and Justin Durant will likely be out 3-4 weeks with their injuries they suffered in the Saints game.
  • Jones said losing to the Saints does not make him hit the panic button. He references close losses to the Chiefs and Broncos this year in helping him realize the Cowboys have a chance to be more than competitive against some of the NFL’s top teams.
  • With all of the injuries, Jones said the team evaluates the strength and conditioning staff to make a “comparative assessment around the league” to see how the Cowboys stack up regarding other injuries. In the past few years, Jones said the Cowboys haven’t been much different than other teams.

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RELATED – Jerry Jones says Dallas Cowboys can improve by getting Dez Bryant the ball, getting healthy, playing man coverage

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he’s glad the Cowboys are in their bye week because it gives them a chance to get guys back from injury.

He said safety J.J. Wilcox, defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, cornerback Morris Claiborne and receiver Miles Austin should be ready to go against the Giants Nov. 24.

Jones outlined a few things on radio today that the Cowboys can do during the bye to be better down the stretch.

First and foremost, he said the team needs to find a way to get the ball in the hands of receiver Dez Bryant more.

Jones said the offense has underachieved and the Cowboys should be more productive on offense which had equal responsibility in the blowout loss to the Saints last Sunday when Bryant caught just one pass for 44 yards. That lone reception didn’t come until late in the third quarter.

“We need to get (Dez Bryant) the ball more,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. “That type of thing is a reasonable thing you can adjust. How do we get him the ball more. We need to get the ball the (running back) Lance Dunbar. He’s a play maker out there.”

Apart from getting the injured guys back, Jones said the defense can improve by allowing guys to do they do best and play more man coverage in the secondary. He said cited the zone defense as one reason Saints quarterback Drew Brees blistered the Cowboys on Sunday. He finished 34 of 41 for 392 and four touchdowns, coming eight yards shy of becoming the fifth quarterback to top the 400-yard mark against the Cowboys this season.

“It’s time to look at what the guys do the best,” Jones said. “Play a little more man, a little less zone. You need to man up more in the secondary rather than rely on zone. If you can’t get pressure and you are relying on zone that’s how we end up on the position we were in the other night.”

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8 responses

  1. Robert Knight | Reply

    Christ…at least ONE GUY knows what the hell he’s talkin about. Jerry to the rescue!
    I cant believe Kiffin would revert back to this ignorant zone cushion style defense. Brees couldve made those throws into that cushion for another four quarters, and the only person as tired as our defense wouldve been the score keeper.
    As far as offense jerry was a little vague, but seems to understand. You can get Dez the ball by rotating him into the slot, changing sides of field, motioning him….we attempted one slot play. A.J. Green has been doing it all year, to contend agsinst double teams. I wonder if Jerry is also gonna have to explain to Callahan that TEs and RBs can be used for protection in pass game, as well as decoys….

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    1. Ugg! That soft zone in these styles of defense KILLS me to watch! To me, it’s made sense to use most of the DBs in coverage all along. The top Cowboys corners were brought in with that in mind (when Dallas was in the 3-4 scheme). The thing about Kiffin is his depth of knowledge and ability to devise a system that will work within the strengths of his players. You can’t (or shouldn’t) play man on every down, but it makes sense to do that the majority of the time with this roster and their skillset. The Tampa-2 (now, the Texas-2) is predicated on pressure. Facing teams where Dallas wins that battle (trenches) means they can be more tolerate with zone coverages from time to time. Let’s hope Kiffin has evaluated what’s not working and devises a plan that these young players can succeed at in the next six weeks. I believe he will.

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      1. Robert Knight | Reply

        I agree, but I would put majority in caps. We should be in man a MAJORITY of the time. Taking away the opposing QBs reads dramatically increases our lines ability to come up with a sack, turnover, or loss of down. Man coverage is the start, but making sure to disrupt recievers at the line should be a cornerstone.

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        1. Definitely need more aggressiveness at the line of scrimmage. One disadvantage is if the WR beats the DB at the snap and then becomes wide open, leaving a linebacker to cover the slack and/or a safety to come down to make the tackle. That being said, it takes a balance of setting the tone and knowing when to play off somewhat, if the WR is more physically imposing. There are several reasons to justify playing off, but I do like the route delaying advantages of getting in the WRs head — man to man. Especially if the DL isn’t penetrating and disrupting the pocket.

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        2. One caveat to man coverage is that your man better damn well be able to contain their man. When that’s not the case, another defender has to be pulled into the equation. That creates a gaping hole. Zone coverage has its place … allows for blitz packages, for example. Kiffin will take that into account, especially when he’s got inexperienced players covering for veterans. I believe Kiffin has the smarts to take advantage of his corners coverage skills in a way that puts them in fewer zone or soft defenses. Philosophically, we agree. Take the opponents top threats on man-to-man … but, find ways to bring extra pressure by switching to zones when appropriate. All of this becomes more viable when Kiffin gets these starters back on the field. These inexperienced linebackers and safeties can’t cover consistently. That’s a huge factor in this discussion. Kiffin could very well put Carr in man, and other DBs in zones. Mixing it up is key also.

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    2. Good points regarding the offense. Teams know Dallas’ offensive plays as good as the Cowboys do! It’s been around for years now! Fresh eyes are needed to put twists and change into place so that this team is not so predictable. That includes a better base formation (multi-backs, split-back, I-formation, etc). Something with more support placed behind Romo to assist this young OL, create holes, block, diversions, and create some mystery surrounding the actual intended targets. I don’t like the five-wide formation at all, without Austin and without someone in motion to provide a block, as needed. Does no good to have five eligible receivers if Romo is on his back and can’t see them.

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      1. Robert Knight | Reply

        Base formations need to be scrutinized during this first week here. Split-back would be my first thought.

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        1. Would love to see more beef and brawn back there with Romo. With four RBs and four TEs on the roster, you’d expect some innovation and experimentation with that idea. You can run most of Dallas current plays from a split-back or I-formation … or a multi-back set. Helps the OL … gives vision on blitzes … and allows for fakes, screens, reverses, end-arounds, sweeps, and slips out into the flat for a reception.

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