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When Jimmy Johnson became head coach in 1989, he retained the 4-3 but discarded the flex defense that Landry had used for many years. Johnson’s defense relied on speed more than size. The Cowboys continued to use a version of this 4-3 until the third year of Bill Parcells‘ tenure.
Since 2005, Dallas has run the 3-4, which features larger linemen and larger linebackers. The Cowboys have spent a number of draft picks trying to find inside and outside linebackers as well as defensive linemen to fit the system.
Trivia question for the day: who were the last defensive linemen drafted when the Cowboys still used the 4-3?
Here’s a hint: The Cowboys did not draft a single defensive lineman between 2002 and 2004.
Check out the Facebook page for the answer.
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More about the Cowboys’ use of the 4-3:
In 2004, the Cowboys’ starters along the defensive line included DE Greg Ellis, DE Marcellus Wiley, DT Leonardo Carson, and DT La’Roi Glover. Glover moved to nose tackle in 2005, while Ellis remained at end. Ellis then moved to outside linebacker in 2006.
Before the quotes, take a look at a “highlight” videos about that team.
On to the quotes—
“‘K mart’ didn’t try to fall down. That’s just football. You’ve got to accept it.”
Troy Aikman after a 27-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Cowboys led 21-10 at halftime but could not score in the second half. Aikman was referring to receiver Kelvin Martin, who fell down on a route late in the game, leading to an Aikman interception.
“The rocky days are not over for the Cowboys. But I’m happy to get the win. We’re going to have a lot of wins over the next so-many years in Dallas, and it’s good to get it started.”
Jimmy Johnson after the Cowboys picked up their first and only win of the 1989 season against the Washington Redskins.
“Winning and losing concerns me, but what concerns me more is when you take away from the integrity of the game. It was confirmed last night by an Eagles coach and two Eagles’ players that there was a $200 bounty on Luis Zendejas and a $500 bounty on Troy Aikman. That’s not the way the game is supposed to be played.”
Johnson about bounties that Philadelphia coach Buddy Ryan placed on several Cowboys’ heads. Dallas lost to the Eagles on Thanksgiving Day, 27-0.
Did You Know?
When the Cowboys lost to the Falcons, it marked the first time since 1963 that Dallas had started a season 0-2.
- Cowboys might have taken Junior Seau in 1990 (examiner.com)
- Troy Aikman backs Dallas Cowboys’ move to select Morris Claiborne – NFL News (blogs.bettor.com)
- The Dallas Cowboys built their dynasty through a series of great drafts (examiner.com)
- When Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterbacks Have Moved On (knowyourdallascowboys.com)
- Dallas Cowboys History in Quotes: Cowboys vs. Giants (knowyourdallascowboys.com)