In case you are a Dallas Cowboys fan who held out hope that one day Jerry Jones would sell the team and usher in a new era of prosperity, we're here to remind you that this is a family business for the Jones'. On Wednesday, Stephen Jones spoke up in defense of Monte Kiffin–by calling out his players.
Via Pro Football Talk:
“You turn on the tape and guys we count on week in and week out didn’t show up,” Jones said. “I don’t know what it was, but we didn’t get it done and I’ve got to believe we can do better than that.”
Jones called out several defensive players by name.
“They’ve all got to be better,” Jones said. “Sean Lee has got to be better. Brandon Carr has got to be better. Bruce Carter has got to be better. Jason Hatcher has got to be better. We’ve all got to be better. We’ve got to do a better job when we do have injuries of having better players to get up and be there. It’s an organizational thing. You just have to do better on the defensive side of the ball. If we want to get to where we want to get to we can’t play that type of defense.”
Before he left the NFL to join Lane Kiffin's USC staff in 2010, Kiffin was regarded as a defensive mastermind. Much of the vitriol against Monte in recent years stems from the associations people make with his son. It's ironic that Jerry Jones' son is the one leaping to defend Kiffin.
All jokes aside, Jones is close to making a salient point, but he missed the mark. The Cowboys have lined up 37 players on the defensive end this season. That's an absurd amount. There are only 53 players on an active NFL roster. Kiffin deserves most of the blame, but there are extenuated circumstances that have contributed to Dallas' defensive woes. However, injuries don't excuse the Cowboys giving up the second-most yards per game in NFL history. That combined with Kiffin getting fired by his own son at USC after struggling to scheme against Pac-12 defenses points to something systematic.