Rob Ryan fired by Dallas Cowboys as owner Jerry Jones wields axe in NFL
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: January 9, 2013 2:56pm
Rob Ryan: Out as Dallas defensive coach
Rob Ryan is the big casualty from another poor season for the Dallas Cowboys as the defensive coordinator was released following their 8-8 season.
Owner Jerry Jones warned there would be changes made after his side missed out on the play-offs again on the last weekend of the season.
Running backs coach Skip Peete had already been shown the door but Ryan is now the big name who has paid the price, with head coach Jason Garrett seemingly being given one last chance.
Ryan, the twin brother of Jets head coach Rex, is a flamboyant and outspoken defensive coach, but despite improving Dallas, his unit could only finish 19th in total defence this year after coming in 11th last year.
Admittedly injuries have not helped, but Ryan is still out of a job although he goes with praise from coach Garrett as he announced the news.
"At this time, the decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense," said Garrett.
"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."
Ryan insisted there were "no sour grapes" but was keen to stress that he improved the team a lot over his two seasons in charge, and said his unit were not the reason the Cowboys went 8-8.
The Dallas defence was a top-ten outfit over the first ten games until big injuries took hold, and Ryan believes his work with the Cowboys will mean he is not unemployed for very long.
"When you play that way for the first 10 games, you're supposed to be 9-1 and or 10-0. We were 5-5.
"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better. I'll be out of work for like five minutes.
"I think I did a good job, and I think our staff did a good job on defence trying to compete with what we had at the end of the year. But the best job we did was when we were able to coach our starters."
Although it would be a dream scenario for headline writers and NFL fans alike, it seems highly unlikely that Ryan will join his brother Rex at the Jets.