Cowboys Dismiss Rob Ryan as Defensive Coordinator
While twin brother Rex Ryan kept his job as head coach of the New York Jets, Rob found himself out of work after he was terminated by the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator.
"I want to express my appreciation to Rob for all of his efforts and contributions to the Cowboys over the past two years," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a statement.
"At this time, the decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense. I have an immense amount of respect for Rob as a person and as a football coach and I wish him and his family the very best," Garrett added.
When Ryan took over as defensive coordinator in 2011, the Cowboys were 31st on defense. This season, Dallas finished 19th overall, 17th against the run and 21st against the pass despite missing five defensive starters due to injuries and two more key backups.
"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better," Ryan told ESPN.com "I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I'll be out of work for like five minutes."
The Cowboys' move came as a surprise as Garrett apparently gave Ryan a vote of confidence for a return in 2013. Ryan had one year remaining on a three-year contract.
"I thought Rob did a really good job," Garrett then said. "I stood up here a number of times and said you don't want to talk about injuries and we're not talking about them now but in answering your question I'm going to say that it was a real challenge for Ryan".
However, team owner and general manager Jerry Jones said changes were needed after an 8-8 finish.
Jones spoke to the entire coaching staff and running backs coach Skip Peete was told he wouldn't return.
Ryan was on vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands when he was told by phone he wouldn't return.
Ryan's best defensive player, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware played with one arm in the last two games because of injuries to his elbow and shoulder. His starting safety, Gerald Sensabaugh, played with a bad hip.
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