The Dallas Cowboys have been playing a 3-4 defense for 8 years ever since Bill Parcells installed it. Now, after hiring Monte Kiffin they will switch to the 4-3 model and specifically his famous Tampa 2 defense.
“The Cowboys will be smaller, and presumably quicker, but during the breaking-in period, the bet around the league is that opponents will test the new front four in the running game. Ware, who said he has gained 7-10 pounds to make the move to end, has been a better player against the run than some critics suggest, but he’ll now face bigger tackles on every play, instead of just “rush” downs. Ditto Spencer, who has not always played the run well. At one tackle spot, Jay Ratliff, who was definitely an unconventional and undersized 3-4 nose tackle, won’t be able to out-quick people as often. And the other projected starter, Jason Hatcher, is a converted 3-4 end, and the unit’s only 300-pounder. Kiffin and longtime sidekick Rod Marinelli, the new defensive line coach, will have to make do for now with a starting foursome that should average in the 280-pound range. And with a pair of 260-270-pound ends whose anchor ability will be tested.”
But the Cowboys players aren’t too worried about it. DeMarcus Ware, 31, will move from rush linebacker to defensive end.
“The differences aren’t as (considerable) as some people have made them out to be,” suggested DeMarcus Ware. “Actually (the defense) allows us to be just as aggressive, maybe more so, and guys have taken to it pretty well. There haven’t been a lot of mistakes. It’s going well.”