Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin joined Shan and R.J. on KRLD-FM The Fan over the weekend to discuss the NFL Draft. Here are some highlights:
How’s the draft going so far?
Kiffin: Going good. I’m fired up right now. B.W. Webb – remember that name. Yeah, we got a good safety, too. We started late, but we’re coming on fast in the fourth quarter.
It took a while to get you any help on defense.
Kiffin: I know, I could’ve watched it on TV [laughs]. But anyway, it’s all good because you know the thing about those offensive players? They convert that third-and-four…
They keep you off the field?
Kiffin: Yeah! I like that. I like that.
Talk about B.W. Webb.
Kiffin: He’s 5-10 and a half, or whatever, and sometimes they’ll get into, ‘Well, is he tall enough to play corner against the big receivers?’ But, you know what? Last time I checked, Ronde Barber at the Combine was 5-9 ¾. We drafted him in 1997 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he’s still playing, unless he retires this year. And this is 2013. He played a lot of nickel. He became famous as a nickel corner. I’m not saying B.W. Webb is Ronde Barber, but I’m saying their height doesn’t concern you that much at the nickel spot because remember your fourth corner – you’ve got three corners on your team when you play nickel – one corner gets hurt, [the fourth corner is] one snap from being a starter. So your corners are very, very valuable.
We have a couple of good corners here now, we really do. But we need competition, and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got depth at corner. Now, the third defensive tackle is very important because if one of those tackles gets hurt – or third defensive end – it’s very important. He’s one snap away. But the fourth defensive tackle, the fourth defensive end is not one snap away. The fourth corner is one snap away.
Why were the Cowboys so excited about getting J.J. Wilcox?
Kiffin: Well, just because of our safety need. Our starting safety [Gerald Sensabaugh], we don’t have him, and our other safety has not played. Barry Church is a good football player, but he’s coming off an injury and it’s not just a sore shoulder or something like that. We just don’t have a lot of players who have played safety. We needed a safety, we really did. No doubt about it.
What type of player is Wilcox?
Kiffin: Well, he’s a good football player. He was a running back until this last year. He did not move to defensive safety until camp this year before the season started. Their need was so much at Georgia Southern that they had to have a safety, so they put him at safety. And for one year of playing defensive back, he is very, very impressive. Now, he’s still a little bit raw, but he’s a great young man and he’s going to work his tail off. He’s going to be the first guy sitting in the first row. And those kind of guys, I like those kind of players because they’ve got a lot of energy, and when you meet in practice and you watch the tape and stuff, they develop quicker than somebody that’s just, ‘Hey, this is pretty neat.’ No, this is the NFL. Let’s go