3-4 Schemes Not Working

The Cowboys moved the 3-4 defense in 2005, and after several season’s its been a complete and utter disappointment. There can be several factors that have led to let down of the much hyped system. Parcells was supposedly a guru of the system, and somehow under his tenure, it never lived up to the in-your face pressure it had touted.

Maybe you can blame the ineffectiveness on the instability from the coaching aspect, rather than the scheme. Let’s look at the 3-4 Timeline:

In 2005, our defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, had been a 4-3 guru, and was forced to implement a totally new scheme, it never did much.We brought 3-4 type players; Ferguson, Ware, Spears, Burnett, and Canty were all added.
In 2006, Zimmer had another year under the system, but again, the pressure and production never came to fruition as it had been said to do.

In 2007, Parcells leaves, Jerry Jones interviews several coaches, it came down to Norv Turner and Wade Phillips. The Cowboys had even interviewed the 4-3 guru Ron Rivera, who incidentally now works for Norv Turner in San Diego. The Cowboys hire Wade Phillips who brought a highly vaunted style of 3-4 to the table, something the last version of the 3-4 lacked. It was said that the Phillips 34 was more aggressive, and that we would see all sorts of exoctic disguises, with all sorts of blitz packages galore. Guess what, no it didn’t. Where were the blitz packages and aggressiveness down the stretch and the playoffs? Brian Stewart took over the defensive coordinator position and either watered it down, or was still getting use to the new position coming up from the secondary coaching ranks previously.

In 2008, same story, we still have Brian Stewart, and the Phillips 34 has not been as advertised. We’ve been hoodwinked. The defense is not getting after the QB, there’s no pressure, no exotic blitz packages, no man to man, just cushion and more of the Parcells read and react 34 which we didn’t care for, somehow its still being run in Dallas.

The 3-4, whether it be the Parcells 34 or Phillips 34 has been a second-rate defensive bust of a scheme. I’m ready to dump this system for the next coach that comes on board, because one thing is for sure, Phillips is gone in case you didn’t know it. The only person I’d be willing to try the 3-4 again, would be Bill Cowher, he had a good grasp of the system for years, and he’s a well rounded coach.Cowher on the 3-4 (2005):

“I think it is cyclical,” Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. “That seems to be the case in the league. You’ve seen a couple more teams, it seems like every week, that are going to it. We’ll see how long people stay with it. It’s one thing to make the change; it’s another to stick to it.”

If we stick with the 3-4 it needs to be Cowher leading the troops; otherwise, get a 4-3 guru back in here and utilize what we have. Our roster is primed to excel back in the 4-3, maybe even the 4-6. Can you imagine having Ware, Tank, Ratliff, Canty, Spencer, Ellis all on the field. That would be 90s SuperBowl defense right there.

Do you know what was the last NFC team that used the 3-4 which made the Super Bowl? The New York Giants, under Parcells, in 1991. Since 1991, all the NFC teams got to big game with the 4-3. Just look at the most recent NFC represenatives:the Bucs, Panthers, Eagels, Bears, and Giants to the Super Bowl.

Screw the 3-4, just based on that, we’re against all odds to make it based on history…since 1991, pathetic.

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