Will Allen pleased to be reunited with Kiffin

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Will Allen came in as a fourth-round pick at Tampa Bay with Monte Kiffin as his defensive coordinator in 2004. Nine years later, Allen has been reunited with Kiffin, who is in his first year as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator,

“Monte’s a trip, man, but it’s fun,” said Allen, who signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys after starting eight games for Pittsburgh last year. “I’m excited about it. I understand the defense and I understand the expectations and the standard, and I want to be able to convey that message to the guys here and help this team build and grow. I’m excited.”

Allen played five years under Kiffin in Tampa Bay. In 2006, he started every game and had a career high 77 tackles. He played for Pittsburgh from 2010-12.

Why sign with the Cowboys?

“It’s a number of things,” he said. “It’s the opportunity to play with Dallas, the opportunity to be in the system again and the challenge of being able to start in this league. I started eight games last year with the Steelers and I see a great opportunity to start with the Dallas Cowboys and compete and help this team win.”

In Pittsburgh, Allen was surrounded by veterans in Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. With the Cowboys, he is surrounded by inexperienced players like Barry Church, Matt Johnson and rookie J.J. Wilcox.

“It’s a little different, but again that’s what being in this league is all about,” Allen said. “When I first came in the league, I had guys older than I was and they told me a lot about the game. I felt like that community and the fraternity of the league where older guys give back to the younger guys. Whatever team you’re on, you want to help win. I don’t have a Lombardi and I want that more than anything. I can’t do it by myself. I need those young guys. We need each other. That’s got to be our mindset.”