'Boys Hire DL Coach

The Cowboys did not waste time in naming a new coach on the defensive line.

The Dallas Cowboys hired Todd Grantham to be their new defensive line coach Thursday.

Grantham replaces Kacy Rodgers, who joined Tony Sparano's staff in Miami on Wednesday.

Grantham, 41, has extensive experience coaching in the 3-4 scheme. He spent the past three years as Cleveland's defensive coordinator and also three years coaching the Texans' defensive line before that.

Grantham was also the Colts' defensive line coach from 1999-2001 and spent the previous nine years at Virginia Tech and Michigan State.

"Todd is an outstanding person and coach," Wade Phillips said. "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. 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."

Grantham was let go by the Browns after Cleveland finished the 2007 season ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense. In fact the Browns' defense gave up 402 points (fourth-most in team history) and 5,753 total yards (second-most).

Cleveland still finished with a 10-6 record and almost made the playoffs.

Grantham was much more successful as a defensive line coach with Indianapolis and in the college ranks at Virginia Tech and Michigan State.

The Cowboys have two more coaching vacancies to fill - defensive backs and linebackers.

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