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Mailbag: How Will Kiffin's Hiring Affect The Draft?


With the recent hire of Monte Kiffin, do you feel the cowboys have changed the direction of the draft? I am worried that once again they are going away from the major line and now turning back to defense.

Nick: I think that's a valid question but I really don't see it changing too much. Let's not forget, if it's 3-4 or 4-3, the Cowboys were in need of some younger, big lineman on defense. So it's not like moving to the 4-3 will put emphasis on a place that wasn't there before. Let's see how this thing plays out in free agency, too. The Cowboys have a decision to make on Anthony Spencer and could add some other help to the 4-3 long before we get to the draft.

Bryan: You don't think this defense has major issues too? This front office knows they have plenty of holes to try and fill on both sides of the ball. They could use a running back or safety. If they draft an offensive or defensive linemen that move has a chance to help them right away. I just don't see them focusing on the defense because they have added a new coach.

Isn't this team deeper & more talented at linebacker, and therefore more suited to continue playing the 3-4 rather switching to a 4-3 with its third defensive coordinator in four years? To me this seems like more change for the sake of change.

Nick: I actually think the personnel for this team has developed into more of a 4-3 look anyway. The last two years under Rob Ryan, we saw more 4-3 schemes during the game. When you look at versatile players such as Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff and Sean Lissemore – they have all played multiple positions on the line. I think they will fit in nicely with this scheme. Ware can probably play the 4-3 without much change and if Spencer returns, I've always thought he was better-suited for the 4-3. At linebacker, you really just need to find an OLB and if that doesn't happen in free agency or the draft, I'd be curious to see how Ernie Sims and/or Alex Albright could play the position.

Bryan: In the 4-3 you still get pressure from Ware and if Spencer is resigned, then you get him rushing full time which is better than him dropping in coverage. You free up Lee and Carter to run to the ball and you can use Lee in coverage which is actually a strength, remember Indianapolis game or how about Tampa Bay or Carolina games this season with an interception and a pass defended. There are fundamental changes in the 4-3 that will make this defense simpler for the guys to play.

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