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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Who'll Be Defensive Coordinator in 2014?

It was a slow news day for the Dallas Cowboys yesterday, which must mean the playoffs are on.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Time has come for Jerry to ‘retire’ Kiffin as Cowboys DC - Gil LeBreton, Star-Telegram
LeBreton writes that the Cowboys have a lengthy list of off-season housecleaning chores, and suggest that promoting Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator should be at the top of the list.

After a semi-enthusiastic welcome for Kiffin in training camp, players gradually seemed to tune him out. Not so for Marinelli, who remains a respected and feisty 64.

Kiffin has said he wants to continue coaching. OK, whatever. But Owner Jones needs to delicately inform Monte that Marinelli is now the defensive coach in charge. Put Kiffin on the Larry Lacewell Plan, if necessary — coach emeritus for life.

Dallas Cowboys fans need to realize that Monte Kiffin might not be the problem with the defense - Tom Cowlishaw, DMN
Cowlishaw countered LeBreton's argument in a chat with readers:

Not totally sure I understand why people are desperate to get rid of Kiffin but love Marinelli. They coached the same defense. They worked in conjunction with each other every day. I don't see it as this being Monte's defense and Marinelli went along with it grudgingly. It was a bad scheme that didn't work. I'm fine with keeping Marinelli and giving him a shot to see if what he can incorporate from his time in Chicago and elsewhere will be different, but I wouldn't concede the 2014 season if he left.

With aging core and young players not quite ready, Cowboys getting squeezed from both ends - David Moore, DMN
Moore voices concern over a three-player "aging core" of Romo, Witten and Ware and notes that the young core of Lee, Murray and Claiborne have started only eight games as a group over the last two seasons.

The Cowboys are getting squeezed from both ends. Time is running out for their marquee players to experience success while key young players miss too many games for the team to gain traction in the standings.

Don't expect the Dallas Cowboys to make any huge free agent additions this offseason - Brandon George, DMN
In a chat with readers, George warned Cowboys fans not to expect too much from free agency.

The Cowboys are handcuffed for the most part because of their tight salary cap situation this off-season. So, they can't make huge free agent additions. They'll have to improve via the draft for the most part. As far as the coaching staff goes, the Cowboys will have to take a long, hard look at each coordinator and what you do there moving forward.

2014 NFL Draft order: Picks 1-24 set following first week of playoffs -
Following the first weekend of playoff games, four more picks are set in the 2014 NFL Draft, including the Eagles, whose wildcard-exit gets them the 22nd pick of the draft.

A look at 10 players the Dallas Cowboys could draft in the first round - DMN
Not to be outdone by the Star-Telegram's Charean Williams, who offered five names for consideration as the Cowboys' top pick on Saturday, Jon Machota offers an 11-page slideshow with 10 players the Cowboys could draft with their top pick in May. Just like Williams' list, this one is heavy on the D-line:

DE (Kony Ealy, Stephon Tuitt, Trent Murphy, Scott Crichton)
DT (Louis Nix, Timmy Jernigan, Ra'Shede Hageman, Will Sutton, Aaron Donald)
S (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix)

2014 NFL Draft: Oregon State DE Scott Crichton making NFL jump -
While lacking the extraordinary athleticism possessed by South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney or Missouri's Kony Ealy, Crichton's burst, strength and motor could help Crichton join these two fellow pass rushers in the first round.

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