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Dallas Cowboys giving Rod Marinelli one year to turn around the defense

Dallas Cowboys promote Rod Marinelli
Dallas Cowboys promote Rod Marinelli
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys had the worst defense in the NFL in 2013 and one of the worst of all time when it came to giving up yards and points. While Dallas chose to keep their defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, ESPN reported on Jan. 31 that they promoted Rod Marinelli to a more prominent position of game caller for the defense in 2014, but he only has one year to prove he is the man for the job.

Marinelli was part of Kiffin's staff in 2013, but the elder coach led the Cowboys through a season where Dallas gave up 6,645 yards to opposing teams and even lost a game where the offense scored 48 points. Kiffin was clearly in a position to lose his job, but Jerry Jones kept him on, but protected him by limiting his duties.

Monte Kiffin is now the assistant head coach on defense while Marinelli is now the defensive coordinator. Marinelli ran the Chicago Bears defense from 2010-12, a unit that intercepted the third most passes, forced the most fumbles, scored the most defensive touchdowns and allowed the fourth fewest points in the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys fans should hope to be close to that good after the 2013 NFL season.

Of course, Rod Marinelli will have to hope that injuries don't decimate his unit like they did in 2013 when Sean Lee, DeMarcus Ware, Morris Claiborne, Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer all fell to injuries. There was one point where there wasn't a healthy starting linebacker on the team.

Plus, Marinelli is in the last year of his contract, as are Jason Garrett and new offensive play caller Scott Lineman. If the Cowboys can't improve in 2014, there will likely be a brand new coaching staff in 2015 from top to bottom.

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