Looking at the Seahawks defense is a good place to start learning about the new Cowboys defense, as they are playing an playing an updated version of Kiffin's Tampa-2, something we're likely to see in Dallas as well.
Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reports that new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin told both Jason Hatcher and Brandon Carr to study the Seattle Seahawks defense in anticipation of what the Cowboys defense could look like in 2013. The article quotes Brandon Carr:
"I kind of asked him what our philosophy and what the look of our defense was going to be, and as a prime example he said, ‘Go see Seattle film and you’ll probably learn a lot from those guys and just watch how they move on the field.’ That’s some homework for me to do for the next couple of weeks."
The Seahawks are one of the hot teams right now that everybody is looking at after their defense led the league in points allowed with 245. That's 155 points less than the 24th-ranked Cowboys.
But Kiffin's advice to his new players isn't simply based on emulating the top defense in the league. Rather, it's based on the fact that the Seahawks are playing an updated version of Kiffin's Tampa-2 / 4-3 Under defense.
Seattle head Coach Pete Carroll worked with Kiffin in the past, and many of Seattle's defensive philosophies reflect Kiffin's defensive philosophies. As such, it wasn't a big surprise that when Kiffin resigned at USC in November, his name was almost immediately floated as a possible candidate for a consulting job in Seattle, given his connection to Carroll.
The Cowboys still have quite some ground to cover before they come anywhere close to being the best defense in football, but looking at the Seahawks is a good place to start.
Our own Coty Saxman has been doing a great job covering Monte Kiffin's 1998 Tampa Bay playbook over the last couple of weeks, so we've been familiarizing ourselves with Kiffin's philosophies. If you want to make like Hatcher and Carr and get a headstart on what the Seahawks defense looks like, head on over to our sister site Fieldgulls.com, who have some of the best Xs & Os coverage in our entire network.
And a good place to start would be this excellent article titled "What Can We Expect From The Seahawks Defense?" It was written at the start of the 2012 season and reads like a primer to many of the things we are now discussing here on BTB.