Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan spent a lot of time talking about how good his defense was last season.
The results didn’t measure up to the words. The Cowboys struggled for long stretches of the year defensively, although they did improve on the performance of the team in 2011. Ryan said that he arrived in Dallas to find a defense that had been demoralized by its experiences the previous season and that was part of the reason he spent so much time talking them up.
“Those guys had been beaten down so much that, in my opinion, I don’t think they had the confidence to go forward,” Ryan said, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
Ryan also downgraded his assessment of the defense’s overall ability from last year’s raves to “a hell of a lot better than what I had in Cleveland.” We didn’t need to hear anything from Ryan to know the real assessment of the defensive talent in Dallas.
They let several players go from last year’s team and signed Brandon Carr, Dan Connor and Brodney Pool. They also drafted defensive players with each of their first four picks in the draft starting when they traded up to get cornerback Morris Claiborne. Now they need to show they’re better instead of just letting Ryan tell us.