Cowboys name Rod Marinelli defensive coordinator, but Monte Kiffin stays

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys made some changes to both the offensive and defensive coaching staffs on Tuesday. But ... they didn't fire anybody.

SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

The Dallas Cowboys have elected to promote Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator ... while also keeping Monte Kiffin on the team, according to Rowan Kavner of the team website. Marinelli was the defensive line coach this past season, while Kiffin was the defensive coordinator. But instead of firing Kiffin, they've named him the assistant head coach/defense.

Dallas allowed the most yards in franchise history, and the second-most points in franchise history, with Kiffin at the helm last year. The Cowboys made the switch from the 3-4 to a 4-3 under Kiffin and, as the aforementioned stats indicate, things did not go well.

As for why this move was made, head coach Jason Garrett gave a statement, via Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com:

"Rod Marinelli's production in terms of creating turnovers and changing field position as a defensive coordinator is well documented," coach Jason Garrett said in a statement from the Cowboys. "Monte Kiffin's overall knowledge and understanding of this defensive scheme will be put to use in mentoring all of the players and coaches on the defensive side of the ball. Monte was brought here to direct a transition in philosophy to the 4-3 scheme, and he will continue to oversee the development of our defense in this scheme."

It's clear Marinelli will now be in charge of the overall scheme and the gameplan going forward. It will be his defense as the Cowboys look to recover from an abysmal 2013-14 campaign, but even with that statement above, it's unclear what Kiffin will actually be doing in the end. It's not often you see these kinds of backwards or sideways moves and have the coach remain with the team.

Marinelli was the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator from 2010-12, and excelled in the role. That Chicago team was especially effective at creating turnovers and turning said turnovers into points before the ball ever got back into the offense's hands.

But it wasn't only defensive coaches that got shuffled, as there were significant changes to the offensive coaching staff as well. Dallas will now see its third play-caller in as many years as the team hired Scott Linehan to be its passing game coordinator. He takes the play-calling duties from offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who retains his position. Callahan originally took the play-calling duties from Garrett, who many thought could be fired this offseason.

Also in the report from ESPN, Garrett talked about Linehan, saying that the Cowboys "believe the combination of him and Bill Callahan working closely together will give us a great chance to build upon the strides we made offensively last year."

Still, the defense has a lot more work to do than the offense. Dallas had the No. 14 pass offense (247.1 yards per game on average) and No. 24 rush offense (94.2 yards per game on average), but fielded the No. 30 pass defense and No. 27 rush defense. Marinelli has a much taller task than Callahan and Linehan at this point.

More from SB Nation NFL

SB Nation's complete coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII

The best (and we mean worst) of Super Bowl media day

Bed, breakfast and beyond: The AirBnB guide to Super Bowl tourism

Floyd Mayweather makes $10M wager? | Super Bowl prop bets

NFL mock draft: Blake Bortles is the new No. 1 pick

The sordid end of David Meggett: From All-Pro to prison

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.