Switching DeMarcus Ware to defensive end will be the easiest part of Monte Kiffin's attempt to transition the Dallas Cowboys' 3-4 personnel to a 4-3 defense.
Kiffin's 4-3 'under' front will use Ware in a similar way to how he has played most of his career. He will still act as the focal point of the Cowboys' pass rush, by providing pressure from the edge. He will still be aligned wide and on the openside of the formation, away from a tight end. If anything, Ware could have even more pass-rush opportunities playing for Kiffin, than he did operating in a 3-4. That has to be scary thought for the Cowboys' opponents in 2013.
Taking a closer at the switch, a useful comparison is how Ware played under Wade Phillips from 2007-10. When Phillips took over, he altered the 3-4 scheme of previous head coach, Bill Parcells. Under Parcells, the Cowboys operated a traditional, 2-gap 3-4 front. While Ware was still the scheme's main pass-rusher, Parcells' system demanded more coverage responsibilities and extra reads on the outside.
The Dallas Cowboys could be switching defensive schemes after hiring Monte Kiffin to replace Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal confirmed Kiffin's appointment and expects a switch to a 4-3 defense. That presents some challenges to the existing 3-4 personnel.
When examining how Kiffin's defense might look in Dallas, it is important to start with the 'under' front. Kiffin ran that system with the Minnesota Vikings and later used it to dominate the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is a 4-3 look, with some 3-4 crossover.
The four defensive linemen are shifted to the open side of an offense, away from a tight end. The weak-side end aligns just outside the left offensive tackle and is the scheme's primary pass-rusher.
Philadelphia, Pa—The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations that were bestowed upon them entering the 2012 season. The 2011 campaign was a bit of a precursor of things to come after back-up quarterback Vince Young coined the Eagles as the “Dream Team”. The 2011 squad finished 8-8, and team owner Jeffery Lurie made it clear that another season at .500 or lower would most likely not be good enough for Andy Reid to keep his job.
Heading into camp over the past summer, the feeling in the air was that this could be a career-defining year for both Reid and Michael Vick. Vick was coming off a season that wasn’t quite expected of someone just given a $100 million contract extension. But, as training camp was getting underway Andy Reid’s son Garrett was found dead in his dorm room at Lehigh where camp was being held. Garrett’s passing was just one of the many heartaches that Reid would experience as 2012 came to a close.
In an unfortunate development on Wednesday, the Washington Redskins announced that rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III would be sidelined due to surgery on his LCL and ACL. After a superb debut season, Griffin's knee finally gave out in a playoff loss to Seattle when he dove after a bad snap and twisted his leg awkwardly.
Dr. James Andrews, who completed RGIII's surgery successfuly, estimated that the 22-year old quarterback could be ready in time for the regular season opener in 2013. Whether or not Griffin is ready to play should be immaterial in the eyes of Washington's front office; at issue is the fact that the freakishly athletic signal-caller has a serious injury history and his long-term viability is in question.