NFLN Says: Time might help Cowboys

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
8:50
PM ET
The Dallas Cowboys won’t see the Philadelphia Eagles until Oct. 20, so there will be plenty of time to get ready for that fast-paced offense.

But they know enough about it already.

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin went against Chip Kelly’s offense three times while working on his son Lane’s staff at Southern Cal. It wasn’t pretty.

Oregon averaged 601 yards and 50 points against the Trojans, winning two of the three matchups. Last year, Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns and gained 96 yards on the ground. The Ducks rolled up 730 yards of offense in a 62-51 win.

Since returning to the NFL sideline, Kiffin has said countless times -- jokingly -- that he is glad his defensive players no longer have to go to study halls and can focus completely on football. He believes he can be more technical with his schemes and will have better athletes to handle what the Eagles will throw at them twice a year.

Unfortunately for Kiffin he will have to contend with the Eagles’ pace and the Washington Redskins' read-option, provided Robert Griffin III is healthy. The Cowboys struggled in both games last year against the Redskins, losing twice. Rod Marinelli did not fare well against those offenses last year as Chicago’s defensive coordinator either.

And both meetings this year against the Redskins and Eagles come on back-to-back weeks, including during the final two games of the season.

Until Kiffin shows he can slow down Kelly even a little bit at the pro level, the Southern Cal-Oregon games will be mentioned over and over again.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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