FanPost

Can Monte's Tampa-2 help Dallas take the next step?

Temp20121230_dal_wsh_quickies131--nfl_mezz_1280_1024_medium

via prod.images.cowboys.clubs.nflcdn.com

Could a different front coordinated by Kiffin get Dallas to the playoffs?

Monte Kiffin last coordinated a NFL defense in 2008. Taking the performance of his defenses over his last seven seasons in the league and comparing it to the Dallas defense from 2003 to present, and to teams stratified by wins yields the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Kiffin defense.

There are three defensive statistics that demonstrate a fairly strong correlation to winning:

1. Interceptions

Graph4k_medium

2. Touchdowns

Graph5r_medium

3. Passer rating

Graph6x_medium

Obviously, the greater the number of interceptions a defense collects, the better their chance of winning. Conversely, the lower the opposing quarterback's passer rating and touchdown passes, the greater the possibility that the team is victorious.

The average of the latest six seasons for the Dallas Cowboys (2007 - 2012), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Monte Kiffin (2003 - 2008), and the corresponding win grouping (2007 - 2012) for each statistic were compared. Yards per pass attempt and 3rd down conversion percentage were also included, despite a weaker correlation* to winning.

Statistic

Dallas Cowboys

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wins to statistic

Wins to statistic

Interceptions

13.33

17.00

1-3 wins: 12.08

10-12 wins: 17.28

Touchdowns

22.67

19.83

7-9 wins: 22.81

13-15 wins: 20.87

Passer rating

84.40

70.87

7-9 wins: 84.91

13-15 wins: 78.21

Yards per attempt

6.60

5.90

7-9 wins: 6.62

16 wins: 5.78*

3rd down conversion

38.24%

36.09%

7-9 wins: 38.49%

13-15 wins: 36.13%*

It is apparent that the Monte Kiffin defenses were elite and capable of winning their share of games. Compare the performance of the Buccaneers defense from 2003 through 2008 with the Cowboys defense from 2007 through last season, and a significant difference is noted.

Tampa Bay boasted a defense that epitomized characteristics of the Tampa-2 modified by Kiffin. Notice the extraordinarily low yards per attempt the defense yields. The goal of the Tampa-2 is to permit shorter pass patterns and immediately tackle the receiver to limit the yards gained after the reception.

In addition, the Tampa-2 forces teams to drive the length of the field without the advantage of gaining large chunks of territory. This manifests itself in fewer points scored by opposing offenses and lower third down conversion percentages.

The opponent passer rating is adversely affected by the relatively low number of touchdown passes rival quarterbacks throw, and the increased interception total expected from zone schemes. With defensive backs facing the quarterback, interceptions occur with greater frequency.

Had Dallas benefitted from the average defensive performance executed by the Buccaneers under Kiffin, the Cowboys would have boasted a top team. The Cowboys would have an improved passer rating differential, a statistic that correlates well with successful teams.

Team (rating)

Offensive PR

Defensive PR

Difference

Dallas actual (18)

91.3

94.7

-3.4

Dallas projected (6)

91.3

70.9

20.4

Green Bay (1)

108.3

76.8

31.5

Seattle (2)

100.6

71.8

28.8

Denver (3)

105.3

79.4

25.9

San Francisco (4)

101.2

78.0

23.2

Atlanta (5)

99.1

77.1

22.0

The Cowboys would have been 6th in passer rating differential with an average Monte Kiffin defense in 2012. Notice that every team listed in the top 5 has made it to the divisional round of the playoffs, and at least two will make it to the conference championship.

That is a place that Dallas will hopefully find themselves in 2013.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

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,

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Spinner

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.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker