Most writers and analysts believe the Dallas Cowboys should sign a free agent safety that has recently played for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on one of his previous teams. The Cleveland Browns’ Abram Elam and the Oakland Raiders’ Michael Huff are two of those guys and the Cowboys have already openly expressed interest in them, but here’s a new twist to this little game: what if the Cowboys took a guy who played for Ryan’s twin brother, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan? Baltimore Ravens safety Dawan Landry could be just that guy.
Both Ryans run generally the same complex, 3-4 hybrid defensive scheme, so it can be assumed that a player who played under one of them could very easily play for the other. Landry is a free agent, but the result of the NFL lockout will determine whether he’s restricted or unrestricted.
If Landry does indeed become an unrestricted free agent, the Cowboys like his 64 NFL games as a starter and ability to stop the run. Landry had a high number of tackles for a safety with 193 between the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
The Cowboys could also still land the Georgia Tech product as a restricted free agent if the team matches Baltimore’s tender and he chooses to head south. Of course, that’s assuming Baltimore does indeed offer Landry a tender. The Ravens let safeties Will Demps and Jim Leonhard walk in 2005 and 2008, so there’s no guarantee they’ll even put forth an effort to keep Landry.
All this depends on Rob Ryan’s view of his brother’s defense. It’s generally safe to assume he would be fonder of a player who has only played for Rex Ryan than one who has not played under either twin’s scheme.
Ninety percent of the defensive backs who played under Rex Ryan in Baltimore are ball hawks; not everyday ball hawks, but game-changing ones. The Cowboys desperately need that in the middle of the secondary. The best thing Dallas fans can do now is to pray the lockout ends as soon as possible so the Cowboys can begin the search for such a player.