IRVING — The Dallas Cowboys announced a coaching change Tuesday by removing Monte Kiffin as the defensive coordinator.
That job is being taken over by Rod Marinelli. Kiffin will become the assistant head coach of the defense.
"Our responsibility is to bring quality people into our organization and find the best fit for them,” said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett in a written statement. "That applies to players, and it applies to coaches. Rod Marinelli’s production in terms of creating turnovers and changing field position as a defensive coordinator is well documented."
Last season, Kiffin’s defense allowed the third highest yardage total in NFL history.
The Cowboys also announced the hiring of Scott Linehan as the team’s passing game coordinator. He will take over the role as the offensive play caller for the 2014 season, a job previously held by offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.
Callahan will continue in the role of the team’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Linehan, a former head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-2008), was most recently the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions from 2009 to 2013. While in Detroit, he directed an offensive unit that finished the past three seasons ranked sixth, third and fifth respectively in the NFL in total offense.
“The opportunity to add someone of Scott Linehan's expertise and experience will benefit our offensive unit, and we believe the combination of him and Bill Callahan working closely together will give us a great chance to build upon the strides we made offensively last year,” Garrett said in a statement.
Marinelli, the Cowboys' defensive line coach in 2013, was most recently the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator under Lovie Smith from 2010 to 2012, when the Bears units finished ninth, 17th, and fifth, respectively.
“Monte Kiffin's overall knowledge and understanding of this defensive scheme will be put to use in mentoring all of the players and coaches on the defensive side of the ball,” Garrett said. “Monte was brought here to direct a transition in philosophy to the 4-3 scheme, and he will continue to oversee the development of our defense in this scheme.”