June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin talks with safety Will Allen (26) during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Debunking the Myths of Monte Kiffin: Not Just the Tampa 2

Over the offseason much has been said about the Tampa 2 defense Monte Kiffin is bringing to the Dallas Cowboys. While some descriptions and details have been excellent, some have been just a little misleading.

Kiffin’s defense is like all NFL defenses, it takes years and even entire careers to properly learn. Explaining something of this nature can prove almost impossible in the form of an article (or even a series of articles). It’s really no wonder why so many people are lost and confused.

Let’s take some time this week to debunk some of the myths of Monte Kiffin. Then next week we can breakdown his defense and find out what to really expect in Dallas this season.

May 21, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin works with linebacker Sean Lee (50) and the defense during organized team activities at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Common Myths

Think of what you may have heard about the Kiffin Defense. You probably heard Kiffin just runs the Tampa 2. Or that his defense is simple and much easier to learn that Rob Ryan’s defense. The Tampa 2 is a basic Cover 2 Defense that limits the big play. Both Safeties are interchangeable and essentially play the same position. Jason Hatcher will be the Warren Sapp of the Defense…

Simply none of that is true.

Myth 1: Kiffin Just Plays the Tampa 2

I’ve dedicated much of the offseason to debunking this common myth. The aptly named, Tampa 2, derived from Monte Kiffin’s days in Tampa. The top-ranked defense often employed 2 deep safeties with zone coverage responsibilities. This defense was eventually adopted and modified by defensive coordinators across the league and now even the most casual of fan knows of the Tampa 2 Defense.

While Kiffin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get the credit for the Tampa 2, it wasn’t the sole defensive scheme that was run in Tampa. Technically, the Tampa 2 is a specific scheme inside Monte Kiffin’s defensive system. To think Kiffin only ran the same scheme his entire time in Tampa is incorrect. The Tampa 2 was used the most often but he also used Cover 2. He used Cover 3. He mixed in Man and Zone Coverage. He played Single High Safety.

He used different schemes and disguised them so opponents didn’t know what to expect.

To simply say the Cowboys are going to switch to the Tampa 2 would be incorrect. Yes, there will be elements of the Tampa 2 but there will also be so much more.

Truth: Monte Kiffin is much more than just the Tampa 2

Thursday we will look at Part 2 of Debunking the Myths of Monte Kiffin. We will look at how complicated it is, the roles of the players, and the schemes themselves. After Debunking the Kiffin Myths this week, I will explain those other defenses, their coverages, and what Cowboy fans should expect from this defense in 2013.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Monte Kiffin Rob Ryan

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