Here are three questions from the Scout's Eye Notebook:
What will be different about Rod Marinelli as the defensive coordinator?
Broaddus: Count me as one of those so-called experts that believed that the switch to this 4-3 defense was going to be good for all the pieces that Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett had on this roster. Nothing against George Selvie, Nick Hayden and what appeared to be the cast of thousands that played along the defensive line this past season, they were not what these defensive coaches believed they had before we went to Oxnard. Marinelli and Leon Lett were outstanding in what they were able to do with the group that Jones and Will McClay assembled. What I feel like that you will see from Marinelli that you didn't see from Kiffin is playing more to the strengths of your personnel. Marinelli and the other coaches were not going to step on the toes of Kiffin and what he wanted to do scheme wise, that just was not their style. I believe that you will see a more aggressive approach from Marinelli when it comes to attacking offenses. His defenses while he was with the Bears, were this way. His front seven played a huge role in how he called the game. You will still see some two deep schemes but I also feel like you will see even more of the single high packages that they went to in the second half of the season in Dallas. Kiffin was more willing to sit there and play sound then he was to come after an offense. This is where Rod Marinelli was be totally different in my evaluation.
Thoughts on the changes on the offensive play caller?
Broaddus:The hiring of Scott Linehan as the offensive player caller for the Cowboys did catch me by surprise. Once Jason Garrett came out after the bye week and said that he would be the coach relaying the play call to Tony Romo, I felt that this was the end of Bill Callahan in that role. It was at that point that I believed that
Garrett was coaching for his job and by taking over that role, he was trying to save it. For Garrett's sake, Jerry Jones was more willing to give him another chance despite those in the media and fan base were in sharp criticism for his dismissal. What Linehan can bring to the table is a scheme that will get Dez Bryant even more involved in the offense. During his NFL career, Linehan has made it a point to make the "X" receiver the focus of the passing game. We all witnessed firsthand what Calvin Johnson was able to accomplish with Linehan as the play caller. What Garrett and Callahan were able to do later last season was move Bryant around to create some matchup opportunities which Linehan should build on. There were times during the Lions games where you observed Johnson playing out of the slot and with effectiveness. I also liked what Linehan was able to do with Reggie Bush in the backfield. There were creative ideas in where to line him up and how to get him the ball in space. I am not saying that Lance Dunbar is Reggie Bush but the thought of what he can do with a loose play back is inviting. Scott Linehan has moved the ball wherever he has coached and with this offense at key positions, he should once again have that opportunity.
Where does Tyrone Crawford fit in this 4-3 scheme?
Broaddus:I asked Monte Kiffin before we left for the Senior Bowl and he said that is something that the staff needed to look into further with some of the changes most likely at defensive tackle. With Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff in the mix, he was most likely going to play as the strong side or left side defensive end. Kiffin [embedded_ad] thought that he could line up at the one or three technique and do just fine. Where I thought this defense struggled when rushing the passer was when Nick Hayden was on the field during those nickel situations and other than a rare push here or there, he wasn't near enough of a factor. With Crawford on the field, you would not only get that push but also be able to work games with the three technique. What you have to remember about Crawford is that he can go up and down on his weight which he was able to do as a 3-4 base end. He is too good of a player not to find a spot for him and I would not be surprised if that was at that one technique and the club drafts a three.