Dallas Cowboys: Rod Marinelli Hire Helps Ease Defensive Transition

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25:  Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli of the Chicago Bears watches warm-ups before a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 28-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys realize that they need more than just Monte Kiffin teaching the 3-4 squad the Tampa 2 this offseason. Enter Rod Marinelli, who will be a great help in teaching this new approach to the defensive line.

Marinelli's coaching career will forever be linked to the 2008 Detroit Lions and the infamous winless season, but that doesn't mean he can't succeed as a defensive line coach.

Remember, this is the same guy that was the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears for the past three seasons. Marinelli is a solid defensive mind who knows how to get the most out of his linemen.

In the 2012 regular season, defensive end Julius Peppers had 11.5 sacks and 39 tackles for Chicago. That's the same number of sacks as DeMarcus Ware had at outside linebacker, though Ware did log more tackles with 56.

Given that Ware has never played defensive end in the NFL, it's likely many fans are worried how his game will transition. Only time will tell on that front, but it's a good sign that Kiffin has brought in Marinelli, who knows the Tampa 2 and helped Peppers transition into Chicago's D.

The Cowboys have a head coach that is still learning, so it's great to see the team surrounding him with experience on the defensive side. Jason Garrett now has two veteran defensive minds to take care of that side of the ball while he focuses of the offense.

Marinelli's Chicago defense ranked No. 5 in the NFL this season with 35 forced fumbles. Heck, the Bears defense was scoring more than the Bears offense at times this year.

Here's what Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey had to say about the Marinelli hire today on Twitter:

The Marinelli hire makes the Kiffin hire a LOT more attractive

— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) January 19, 2013


Schottey is dead on in his assessment. Marinelli is a former head coach and a proven defensive mind in the NFL. The Cowboys just hired a coach who deserves to be at least a defensive coordinator somewhere. Instead, he gets to focus on defensive line and team up with Monte Kiffin once again.

What was once a eyebrow-raising hire for the 'Boys now makes much more sense and has much more potential.