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Garrett: Kiffin is as good a defensive coordinator as the NFL has seen


Cowboys coach Jason Garrett lavished praise on his new defensive coordinator today, saying that Monte Kiffin may be the best defensive coach he’s ever been around.

“He’s as good a defensive coordinator as this league has seen in a long, long time,” Garrett said of Kiffin.

Garrett talked about the brief time he spent as a backup quarterback for the Buccaneers in 2004, when he ran the scout-team offense against Kiffin’s defense. Garrett said that Kiffin would rip him if he wasn’t doing enough to test the Bucs’ defense on the practice field, but even when Kiffin was chewing him out, Garrett said, he felt immense respect for the coach.

“We developed a relationship back then,” Garrett said. “My respect level for him is off the charts and we’re really fortunate to have him here to coordinate this defense.”

Garrett also formally introduced Rod Marinelli as the Cowboys’ new defensive line coach today. Marinelli was also a defensive assistant on that 2004 Bucs team, and Garrett called Marinelli, “as impressive a football coach as I’ve ever been around.”

Now we’ll wait and see if the Cowboys’ defense can play well enough to back up Garrett’s confidence in his coaching staff.