Jerry Jones has Monte Kiffin's back too

IRVING, Texas -- Things could not have started worse for the Dallas Cowboys defensively under new coordinator Monte Kiffin.

They are allowing more yards per game than any team in the league. They have allowed an NFL-record four 400-yard passing games. They allowed an NFL-record 40 first downs against the New Orleans Saints and a franchise-record 625 yards two weeks after allowing what was then a franchise-record 623 yards to the Detroit Lions.

Now the Cowboys get to play at least one game without their best defensive player in Sean Lee and another starting linebacker in Justin Durant because of hamstring injuries.

The good news is that Jason Hatcher, DeMarcus Ware and Morris Claiborne are set to return from injuries.

And that has owner and general manager Jerry Jones backing Kiffin.

“I understand his situation and I like and have liked for years where he’s trying to go with this defense,” Jones said. “I like if we were going to have somebody take where we are with our personnel, for better or for worse, where we are in the bye week, what adjustments we needed to make, getting these guys that are coming back healthy, there’s nobody in coaching I’d rather have managing that than Monte Kiffin on defense. Nobody.”

The last time Hatcher, Ware and Claiborne all played in the same game was Oct. 20 against Philadelphia, which also happened to be the defense’s best performance of the season.

But they also had Lee, who had 11 tackles and an interception, that day.