Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin found out in Sunday night's 49-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints why counterpart Rob Ryan got railroaded out of Texas after last season.

Ryan's troops held firm early last season until linebacker Sean Lee's season-ending injury was the first in a line of dominoes to fall on defense.

Kiffin entered Sunday's game without defensive Anthony Spencer and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Jason Hatcher. By halftime, Lee was in street clothes with a hamstring injury while All-Pro pass rusher DeMarcus Ware was in and out with an injury of his own.

Although free safety J.J. Wilcox is hardly a household name, his knee injury might have been the most damaging of the bunch. Fill-in starter and nascent Around The League whipping boy Jeff Heath was abused for big plays all night long.

It certainly didn't help that linebacker Bruce Carter, in and out of Kiffin's doghouse, put forth a questionable effort.

The result was the ugliest in a series of brutal showings for Kiffin's defense this season. Already the only defense in history to surrender four 400-yard passing performances in a season, the Cowboys rolled over for a Saints record 625 yards to go with an NFL record 40 first downs.