Switzer on Kiffin: Among sharpest in history

Switzer on Kiffin: Among sharpest in history

Published Jan. 11, 2013 11:21 a.m. ET

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys' meetings with soon-to-be defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin are progressing so quickly, sources tell me, that discussions at Valley Ranch have already turned to candidates to fill out the defensive staff and ways to maximize the roster's existing talent. (Talk, I'm told, that features free agent Anthony Spencer.)

Meanwhile, for the most ringing endorsement of the Kiffin move from a most intriguing football personality, I go to Barry Switzer.

"Monte Kiffin is without a doubt one of the finest, sharpest defensive minds in the history of football,'' the former Cowboys and Oklahoma coach tells me. "That's as good a hire as you can possibly make.''

Switzer and Kiffin, 72, have known each other for six decades. Switzer is on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' list of "unofficial consultants,'' as is Larry Lacewell, the former Cowboys personnel man and college football guru.

"I get the age jokes, I do,'' Switzer says. "But they get in the way of evaluating the man. I wouldn't bother much with the jokes, even though they are funny. They get in the way of evaluating the guy. And when you evaluate Monte, he's outstanding. One of the sharpest guys in the history of the game. And all he cares about is football. Nothing else. Football.''