Keyshawn wonders if pieces fit new D

OXNARD, Calif. – Keyshawn Johnson knows how good Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli can be after spending time with them in Tampa Bay.

He has a Super Bowl ring to prove it.

As Johnson, the former Cowboys wide receiver and current ESPN analyst, looks at the Cowboys defense, he’s not so sure the move from the 3-4 to the 4-3 will go seamlessly.

“I think they have two great defensive minds in Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, but there’s no Warren Sapp running out there,” Johnsons said. “There’s no John Lynch. DeMarcus Ware could be better than Simeon Rice. But can Bruce Carter be as good as Derrick Brooks? I don’t think so. Can anyone in the secondary be Ronde Barber?”

The scheme is good, but Johnson believes the players matter.

I think it’s a little bit of both but you have to have players,” Johnson said. “That’s the bottom line. If you don’t have that instinct and that guy, it doesn’t matter. Everyone else tries to duplicate the Tampa 2 scheme that they ran and Monte did for 15 years when his defense was in the Top 10 every year. But there’s no Hardy Nickerson running around here? Is (Sean) Lee as good as Hardy Nickerson was?