IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys hired former Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin as the replacement for Rob Ryan on Friday.
The team announced the move on its website a day after the 72-year-old Kiffin was at team headquarters to interview with coach Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones.
The hiring of Kiffin means the Cowboys will switch back to the 4-3 defense after going to the 3-4 under Bill Parcells in 2005. The most notable switch will be Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware becoming a defensive end, and Anthony Spencer could make the same move if the Cowboys re-sign him.
Kiffin hasn't coached in the NFL since ending a 13-year run in Tampa in 2008. He spent the past few years coaching in college with his son, Lane Kiffin, at Tennessee and Southern Cal.
At Tampa, Kiffin's defenses frequently were among the league's best, and the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl with him after the 2002 season.
Ryan was fired Tuesday after two seasons.
Jones also said in a taped interview being aired this weekend that he wasn't pleased with some of the early-season performances before key defenders started getting hurt. Garrett said in a statement announcing the firing of Ryan that the team was going in a different philosophical direction.