This season's injury-filled unit couldn't stop New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and rookie Washington running back Alfred Morris in season-ending losses that kept Dallas (8-8) out of the playoffs for the third straight year.
The Buccaneers finished in the top 10 in total defense 11 times in 13 years under Kiffin and had streaks of 69 straight games with a sack and 54 with at least one turnover during that stretch. Tampa had 31 interceptions when it won the Super Bowl, nine more than the Cowboys have the past two seasons combined.
Kiffin, who turns 73 next month, has 26 years of NFL experience with other stops in Green Bay, Buffalo, Minnesota, the New York Jets and New Orleans.
He coached 17 years in college before going to the NFL, including 11 seasons under Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne at Nebraska, his alma mater.