Former Cowboys scouting director on Kiffin
Larry Lacewell says he doesn't give Jerry Jones advice about football personnel decisions and that's because Jones doesn't ask the former scouting director for his advice.
But if Jones were to ask Lacewell what he thinks of naming Monte Kiffin as the Cowboys' newest defensive coordinator, Lacewell would say it's a great hire.
"Take a look at the stats, Kiffin's history is incredible," Lacewell said Tuesday on the Ben and Skin Show on 103.3 [KESN-FM]. "We stole his defense one of the last times we were really, really good on defense. We put it in and we made no bones about it. We stole it tooth and nail. Mike Zimmer did a fabulous job of copying it. We drafted the little, bitty linebackers, Dat Nguyen, [Dexter] Coakley, those kind of guys and brought in [La'Roi] Glover and I think we really played well. I give Zimmer a lot of credit, but it was Monte Kiffin's scheme."
Kiffin's defenses had a difficult time slowing down some of the high-powered Pac-12 offenses the last few seasons while he was coaching at USC. That has caused some to wonder if Kiffin will be able to adjust his Tampa-2 scheme so that it's effective at stopping those offenses as they make their way into the NFL.
Lacewell, who was with the Cowboys from 1992-2004, said he doesn't think that will be a problem.
"I guarantee you Monte Kiffin will learn how to stop it," Lacewell said. "He learned how to slow us down at OU. There's no doubt in my mind that the way he works at it, he'll do that."
Lacewell specifically mentioned how Kiffin's scheme will be a good fit for Cowboys defenders like DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter. And that's not to say that he disagreed with what Rob Ryan had been doing with the group the past two seasons. Lacewell called Ryan a "mad genius" who might have been implementing too much information that confused his players.
"I thought he knew a lot of football. But sometimes you can't get it taught," Lacewell said. "When you get all of these formations in this day and age and these hurry-up offenses that people are going to, if you're doing a lot of different things it's just so hard to get lined up."
One other nugget from the interview: Lacewell spoke highly of Jones and the support staff he has at Valley Ranch, adding that Jones' son, Stephen Jones, the team's executive vice president, "could be the general manager of any team in the NFL, period."
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota