IRVING, Texas --If you watched Rob Ryan's defense closely this season, you couldn't call it a concrete "3-4 scheme". So when Jason Garrett was asked a couple of weeks ago whether the team would consider a 4-3 switch, it wasn't surprising that he didn't provide a concrete answer.
The reality, as Garrett said, is that Ryan used his share of four-man fronts, too, particularly when the Cowboys went to their nickel defense. And like his twin brother Rex with the Jets, Ryan mixes and matches his personnel with a variety of pre-snap looks. The base 3-4 is just one of them.
On that note, it was interesting to see that the Bills are moving from a 3-4 to 4-3 scheme next season under new defensive coordinator and former Cowboys assistant Dave Wannstedt. But, head coach Chan Gailey didn't rule out using both fronts based on situations.
"If you look around the league today people are playing four-man fronts and three-man fronts, they're playing a little bit of everything," Gailey told the Buffalo News. "We're going to try and put our guys in position to be successful, whatever that position might be. If it's odd spacing sometimes or even spacing sometimes."
Wouldn't really expect Ryan to stray from a base 3-4 look here. He has his defensive principles in place. But his overall philosophy is hardly tied to one look.