Rob Ryan is the latest in a long line of NFL firings, according to reports that he is out as Defensive Coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.
But the lingering question that remains is WHY? What was the Cowboys front office — or more realistically, Jerry Jones — thinking??
Although the Cowboys did rank 24th out of 32 teams in overall defense this year, allowing 400 points on the season and over 5,000 yards, their defense was plagued with injuries from the beginning of the season. Notable injured players included linebacker Sean Lee (on injured reserve by season’s end, out since Week 7), Pro-Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff (missed 6 games at the end of the season), and cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
By week 17, the Cowboys were so decimated by injuries that it was amazing they even had a defense to put on the field, let alone give RGIII and the Washington Redskins a run for their money in a game that determined the NFC East champion and final NFC playoff spot.
With only one year remaining on his contract and an impressive volume of work, I have to wonder why the Cowboys wouldn’t give Rob Ryan another go next season, knowing how much more he could do with a healthy team. Not to mention, who will they find with his credentials to replace him?
This will certainly turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes Jerry Jones has ever made, as Rob Ryan was not the issue on a team with multiple problems. What about the offense, that can’t seem to produce with a game on the line? What about the special teams (and coordinator Joe DeCamillis), which ranked 29th out of 32 teams this season? What about the players themselves, including the least-clutch quarterback in the NFL in Tony Romo?
I have to shake my head at this firing and simply shrug my shoulders, knowing I will never understand Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ offseason moves. And apparently neither will Rob Ryan, who claimed to ESPN Dallas’ Tim McMahon that he isn’t worried because he knows he will only be out of work “for like, 5 minutes.”
Cheers to that Rob Ryan, wish you were still ours!