The Cowboys informed defensive coordinator Rob Ryan he wouldn’t be returning to run the team’s defense in 2013-14.
Ryan had one year remaining on a 3-year agreement.
“I want to express my appreciation to Rob for all his efforts and contributions to the Cowboys over the past 2 years,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said in a press release. “At this time, the decision has been made to go forward in a different direction philosophically on defense. I have an enormous amount of respect for Rob as a person and as a football coach and I just wish him and his family the very best.”
Ryan’s defense finished 19th overall, 17th against the run and 21st against the pass.
His defense missed 5 defensive starters due to injuries and 2 more key backups.
“I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better,” Ryan said. “I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I should be out of work for like 5 minutes.”
When the Cowboys’ season finished, it appeared Garrett was giving Ryan a vote of confidence for a return in 2013.
“I thought Rob did a really good job,” Garrett said. “I stood up here a number of times and said you do not want to talk about injuries and we are not talking about them now but in answering your question I’m going to say that it was a real challenge for (Ryan). If you think the number of guys we lost on defense, starting, marquee players who are simply out, and the other guys who are battling thru injuries and the challenges he had bringing men from the practice squad up, from off the street and on our team and literally playing them two days later.” Football scores
But a few days after Garrett’s comments, team owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said changes were needed after an 8-8 finish and he was going to make folk uncomfortable at Valley Ranch. Jones wouldn’t commit to any coach apart from Garrett.
Jones spoke to the entire coaching staff and running backs coach Skip Peete was told he would not return. The majority of the coaching staff left the Dallas area for a brief vacation.
Ryan was on vacation when he was told by telephone he would not return.
“I think I did a good job and I think our staff did a good job on defense trying to compete what we had at the end of the year,” Ryan told MacMahon. “But the best job we did was when we managed to coach our starters.”
Ryan’s best defensive player, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware played with one arm in the last 2 games because of injuries to his elbow and shoulder. His starting safety, Gerald Sensabaugh, played with a bad hip.
Turnovers, an area of discourse this season at Valley Ranch, were rare. The Cowboys snagged 7 interceptions, tied for the lowest in the league with Kansas City. The Dallas Cowboys also recovered 9 fumbles.