Football analyst Bryan Broaddus tackles three pressing questions for the Cowboys and the rest of the league.
This week, Bryan talks about the four NFL playoff games, what to expect from defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and Anthony Spencer's future with the team.
What was the most surprising thing you noticed in this weekend's playoff games?
Broaddus: I was very surprised how poorly Pete Carroll managed his game against Atlanta on Sunday. I have to admit that I don't sit down and study the Seahawks every week but how can you go on the road with your team down 13 and you don't try and get sure points out of that drive? Even if you kick the field goal, you give your team a chance to feel positive about the situation but to get stuffed on 4th down and have the Falcons drive the ball down the field to build a 20 to 0 lead at half was a large mistake. I understand wanting to send a message to the Falcons but also not to have Lynch on the field on 3rd and 4th down trying to get a yard was poor use of his personnel as well. But his biggest mistake was the use of a time out to try and ice Bryant before his 49 yard field goal. The kick was long enough that Matt Bryant was going to have to drive it which would have put Red Bryant in play who is one of the best kick blockers in the league. By using a time out, he allowed Bryant to shake his nerves and get the ball home on the game winner after the time out. Really poor job of managing the game on his part.
Should fans be worried about Monte Kiffin's age, or excited about the experience he brings?
Broaddus: You should be excited about the experience. I have said on Talkin' Cowboys on numerous occasions that I didn't want a head coach that was over 65 say like a Mike Holmgren because I saw what the stress, wear and tear did to Parcells. Every season that he was here, I remember how he spoke of the grind and whether he had the energy to come back for another year. I believe that being an older head coach is completely different than being an assistant. Look at the successful older defensive coaches like Dick LeBeau and Dom Capers and the job they are doing. I talked to some scouts last week that went through USC on school calls and they said his desire and energy level were outstanding. As long as that is the case, than this has a chance.
By switching to a 4-3 defense, does it make it more imperative to re-sign Anthony Spencer, or can this team now get by easier if Spencer doesn't re-sign. Basically, is it harder to find 3-4 outside linebackers or 4-3 ends who can rush the passer?
Broaddus: It would nice to sign Spencer back but it really comes down to dollars and cents and that is the biggest question. It is much harder to find defensive ends than outside linebackers and that was one of the reasons why this team switched to the 3-4 in the first place.