Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made it clear in an interview with KRLD FM in Dallas that “uncomfortable changes” were coming to Valley Ranch.
On Tuesday, the team announced that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had been fired. This was a move I expected, but one that many people did not see coming.
Ryan who took over as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2011 has been, in my opinion more bark than bite during his tenure in Dallas. He came to the Cowboys as a 3-4 defensive mastermind, praised by many for his unique ability to create pressure on the quarterback from exotic blitz packages.
During the off-season, Ryan wanted press corners, which the Cowboys went out and got by signing Brandon Carr to a $50 million contract and drafting Morris Claiborne. Unfortunately, Ryan rarely used them as press corners, couple that with three-man rushes during critical third downs, and it’s enough to make you want to throw your remote at the television set.
On Monday, the Cowboys fired long time running backs coach Skip Peete. I can only assume that it was because during his tenure as the team’s running backs coach, Felix Jones never blossomed and very little to no development occurred among any of the team’s back-up running backs.
Much Like Peete’s firing, Ryan’s firing came after a lackluster performance by the group he was coaching. In his first season as defensive coordinator, Ryan’s defense gave up the most 4th quarter leads in franchise history and this season, the Cowboys allowed 5,687 yards, the most in franchise history.
Ryan’s firing could mean that the Cowboys are considering going back to the 4-3 defense. There has been talk that the Philadelphia Eagles are going to interview long time Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, maybe the Cowboys are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.
It could also mean that the Cowboys are going to take a shot on former New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, whose scheme produced arguably the best cornerback in the league, in hopes he can do the same with Carr and Claiborne.