IRVING, Texas (AP) -Todd Grantham was hired Thursday as the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys, less than two weeks after the Cleveland Browns unexpectedly fired him from his job as defensive coordinator.
Grantham has nine seasons of NFL coaching experience and spent the last three as defensive coordinator under Romeo Crennel in Cleveland. He is familiar with the 3-4 alignment favored by Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, having coached it under Crennel and former Texans coach Dom Capers.
Grantham was also a defensive line coach with the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts.
``His familiarity with many of the things we do up front was important, but his experience as a coordinator is what elevated him in our eyes,'' Phillips said. ``He knows and understands how one position group on the defense affects everything else that goes on in the scheme. You can only gain that type of knowledge of the big picture by actually creating a game plan and coordinating a defense, and I think it's a huge plus.''
Under Grantham, the Browns' defense was 30th in total yards allowed in 2007, 27th in rushing defense, 26th in sacks, 24th in passing defense, 21st in scoring defense and 14th in interceptions. Still, his dismissal from Cleveland was considered a surprise because the Browns' defense had improved late in the season.
Grantham replaces Kacy Rodgers, one of four Cowboys coaches who left in a mass exodus to the Miami Dolphins. Also leaving Dallas for Miami to reunite with former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells were Paul Pasqualoni, Todd Bowles and Tony Sparano, the Dolphins' new head coach.
Parcells is Miami's new executive vice president of football operations and Jeff Ireland, the former Cowboys' VP of college and pro scouting, is the club's new general manager.
The Cowboys are still looking for a secondary coach and a linebackers coach.
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