Dallas Cowboys Mailbag (Turnovers and Personnel):
The Cowboys are getting turnovers but they kind of got lucky on most of them. The players still don’t fit the Tampa 2 that well either. I don’t see the defense doing a whole lot better until they get a good Tampa 2 safety and some big DT’s to match with Ware and Spencer.
I think you’re right about turnovers. The Cowboys have been getting lucky with some of them. Damon B. Smith at The Landry Hat wrote a little about that same subject before the Oakland game.
Read it here.
To paraphrase he was looking for the Cowboys to create more turnovers rather than just “luck” into them. I think they started to create them against Oakland so that’s fairly comforting. Keep in mind, half the turnovers in the NFL are just a matter of taking advantage of a little luck. So we have to try to create turnovers AND take advantage of them when we luck into turnovers.
A Perfect Fit
I think you are also right about the personnel too. They aren’t a perfect fit. Whether this team primarily runs a Tampa 2, a Chicago 2, or a Seattle Single High, the personnel just doesn’t match up. To tell you the truth, it rarely does. When does a new coordinator EVER get a perfect roster for his system. Success lies in his ability to use what he has. Whether that’s developing players or altering his scheme to fit his players. He just has to make it work with what he has. If he does well, he gets to tweak it and come back to try another season. Eventually he has evolved the roster enough (or evolved his scheme enough) to have a perfect fit.
I am very confident Monte Kiffin understands this. I am very confident he will put his players in position to succeed rather than just plug them into roles they do not properly fit. The most similar coach to Monte Kiffin in this regard is Pete Carroll from Seattle. They both abide by the philosophy of placing players in position to succeed - first and foremost. I did an article a few months ago about this very topic. It explains the link between Carroll and Kiffin and details the process that Carroll went through in Seattle in his rebuilding efforts.
The idea behind doing an article on Seattle was Seattle could provide a blueprint and an example about how these coaches alter their own scheme to fit the players. In time they can incorporate their own scheme the way they want it – but not at all costs. It has to fit the personnel.
It’s a pretty comforting philosophy but for some reason it’s practiced rarely.
You’re not the first person to be worried about the fit. Trust me. I get a lot of emails about this very topic. I can’t find the article that I mentioned above in my archive but I do have my first draft saved so I’ll rewrite it and post it tomorrow to hopefully give you the same peace-of-mind I had when studying these fellas.
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