|Jerry Jones appears to be happy with Jason Garrett (pictured) for now. (Getty Images)|
In the wake of a season-ending loss to the Washington Redskins that eliminated the Cowboys from playoff contention, the last few weeks in Irving, Texas have been rife with uncertainty.
A handful of assistants from Jason Garrett's staff, including former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, have been replaced by coaches with ties to the Buccaneers. The moves fueled speculation that Jerry Jones could dismiss Garrett in favor of Jon Gruden.
On Thursday, Jones tried to set the record straight in an interview with DallasCowboys.com.
“Rest assured, Jason Garrett, our head coach, made those changes,” Jones said. “He basically said, 'Here's the kind of coaches I want.' He did the evaluations ... and said, Jerry, here's who I want to get."
More importantly, Jones provided the embattled head coach with a vote of confidence.
“I saw things about our head coach that really give me a lot of promise not only for 2013, but for years to come,” Jones told DallasCowboys.com.
Last month, the Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin, the architect of the Tampa Two defense, to replace Ryan. Kiffin, 72, has more than five decades of experience as a defensive assistant, but hasn't coached in the NFL since 2008.
Over the past three seasons, Kiffin served as an assistant coach at Southern California under his son Lane. The Trojans allowed more than 33 points per game over their final six contests in 2012. In USC's last three games against Oregon, the Trojans surrendered an average of 50 points per game and an average of 601 yards of total offense against the Ducks.
The Cowboys also added defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and special teams coordinator Rich Bisacci to Garrett's staff. Kiffin, Marinelli and Bisacci all served on the Buccaneers' staff in 2004 when Garrett was a backup quarterback in Tampa Bay.
Next week, the Cowboys are also expected to name Gary Brown as the team's running backs coach, according to DallasCowboys.com. Brown, who rushed for 4,300 yards in his eight-year NFL career, spent the last four seasons in the same role with Cleveland.
Under Kiffin, the Cowboys will transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme in 2013. Defensive end Anthony Spencer is arguably one of the top free agents in the 2013 class at his position.
“We know there will be changes in player personnel,” Jones said. “We should anticipate being able to evaluate them and make our decision on them based on being in these new systems.”
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