The Dallas Cowboys had their worst defensive showing in franchise history this season.
That should be the end of the argument regarding which coach needs to be replaced most, but in order to back up the fact that Monte Kiffin should no longer be the defensive coordinator, here goes:
The Cowboys allowed 6,645 yards, which was by far the most in franchise history. Rob Ryan was fired after the 2012 season for the defense giving up what was then a franchise-high 5,687 yards.
The Cowboys allowed 4,835 passing yards, which was by far the most in franchise history. The most had been 3,928 in 1983. Opposing quarterbacks had a 96 passer rating against the Cowboys and completed 64.7 percent of their passes. Four quarterbacks had 400-yard games against the Cowboys, which is the most ever allowed in a single season. Five had four-touchdown games, including backups Josh McCown and Matt Flynn.
The Cowboys allowed 432 points, which was the second-most in franchise history. The 2010 Cowboys allowed 436 points, and Wade Phillips was fired in the middle of the 2010 season in part because of how poorly the defense played.
The best thing the defense did was take the ball away. Phillips' defenses did not do it enough. Neither did Ryan's. But that should not be enough to save Kiffin's job.
And injury me no injuries. Ryan had to deal with injuries too. He lost more starters than Kiffin: Kenyon Coleman, Barry Church, Orlando Scandrick, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Jeremiah Ratliff ended up on injured reserve or missed the bulk of the season. Kiffin lost Lee for five games, Morris Claiborne for six, DeMarcus Ware for three, Jason Hatcher for one, Carter for one and Anthony Spencer for 15. He never had Ratliff.
Spencer and Justin Durant were the only starters to end up on injured reserve.
If Ryan did not get the benefit of the doubt because of injuries, neither should Kiffin.
He is the father of the Tampa 2. Now he might be the grandfather because the scheme has morphed into something a little different because of the changes in the passing game.
The Cowboys played a dime defense in just one game and only because Lee was hurt. They were in constant mismatches and quarterbacks found holes in the zones. When Kiffin wanted to play man he was hurt by subpar seasons from Brandon Carr and Claiborne, but he didn't adapt enough.
Kiffin said he is not considering retirement. The Cowboys are about to go into the evaluation process. It's hard to see what needs to be evaluated. If this is about making sure Kiffin exits gracefully, then make him some sort of consultant for whoever the next coordinator is.
This season should not take away from Kiffin's exemplary career. If assistant coaches ever earn a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Kiffin should be considered.
But his season with the Cowboys should not be mentioned.