The Dallas Cowboys named Monte Kiffin as their new defensive coordinator Friday.

The 72-year-old has been tabbed to replace Rob Ryan, who was fired from the position on Tuesday following two years on the job.

Kiffin spent the last four years as a defensive coordinator on the college level for his son Lane's teams at Tennessee (2009) and USC (2010-12), but he has 26 years of NFL experience.

"I'm very excited about returning to the NFL and being with the Dallas Cowboys," said Kiffin.

He is best known for guiding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense from 1996-2008 and was on the staff of the club's Super Bowl XXXVII championship team.

While with the Bucs, Kiffin's squad finished in the top 10 in total defense and scoring defense in 11 of his 13 years.

"Monte Kiffin's level of experience and track record of success as an NFL defensive coordinator are unmatched, and I am really looking forward to the contributions that he will make to our coaching staff and our football team," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He has produced NFL defensive units that have consistently performed at a high level in a scheme that has stood the test of time."

The architect of the "Tampa-2" defense used by many teams across the NFL today, Kiffin will be tasked with turning around a Dallas defense that ranked 19th in the NFL and allowed a franchise-worst 5,687 total yards.

The Cowboys ran a 3-4 scheme under Ryan and are expected to make the switch to a 4-3, which is the defensive alignment Kiffin is known for running.

"Obviously that scheme will offer some changes to our defensive approach moving forward," said Garrett. "I have spent the better part of the past two days in conversation with Monte regarding those changes, and we feel very good about our personnel being able to fit the philosophy."