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Jones fired Ryan because he wanted defense to have less going on

Ryan Getty Images

After the 2012 season ended with yet another failure to make it to the playoffs, Cowboys owner/G.M. Jerry Jones decided to make a change.

He fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Now, as the Cowboys prepare to face the team that hired Ryan, Jones is discussing his decision to dump Ryan and his 3-4 system in favor of Monte Kiffin and his 4-3 attack.

Via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jones exlpained on Friday that he wanted the defense to be less aggressive.

“I think so highly of Rob Ryan as a coach, frankly, as an imaginative coach and how he imaginatively approaches the game,” Jones said, via 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.  “He can have a lot going on, and we wanted less going on, but that doesn’t make it right or wrong.  He’s basically implemented it and executed it the way he wants to do it down there and they’re going to give us fits Sunday.”

With more going on in New Orleans and less going on in Dallas, the Saints have improved from a unit that allowed the most yards in league history to ninth in yards allowed.  The Cowboys currently are 31st.

So Jones wanted less aggressive, and he apparently got less aggressive.  And less productive.

In all (or at least some) fairness to the Cowboys, Kiffin’s 4-3 system is premised on creating turnovers, and it has.  Still, Ryan landed on his feet; come Sunday, he’ll be trying to knock Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on his ass.

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35 Responses to “Jones fired Ryan because he wanted defense to have less going on”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 8, 2013 3:12 PM

    Yeah I have to say the Saints defense has surprised me this year. He gets a lot out of a not so incredibly impressive group on paper. There’s plenty of room to add some impact players. It’s possible Rob Ryan might know what he’s doing.

  2. denverwally says: Nov 8, 2013 3:14 PM

    If Jerry Jones knew as much about football as he thinks he does, he would be a hell of a football mind.

  3. weepingjebus says: Nov 8, 2013 3:15 PM

    Rob Ryan will never be a HC unless he does something about that hair.

  4. gonzo7 says: Nov 8, 2013 3:16 PM

    It was all too confusing for Morris Claiborne

  5. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Nov 8, 2013 3:19 PM

    Jones wanted the defense to be less COMPLICATED not less aggressive.

    The main issue was it didn’t create enough turnovers and players struggled to learn it because it was too complex. That’s what Jerry means by “a lot going on”.

    Anyway the Jets ran all over Rob Ryan’s defense last week and no one in Dallas is wishing Ryan were back either.

  6. doe22us says: Nov 8, 2013 3:20 PM

    This dude really likes to hear himself talk, no doubt the Saints will beat them, but note to TV crew, please show a pic of his face when they are about too, it doesnt get old.

  7. murraysons says: Nov 8, 2013 3:21 PM

    It’s all about respect for one’s elder. Monte Kiffin is 300 years old, so Jerry looks at him like a father figure

  8. accipiterq says: Nov 8, 2013 3:22 PM

    I don’t understand how Ryan is still a d-coordinator in this league. Look up the stats on where his defenses have finished ranked every year. His highest…HIGHEST..ranking defense was 19th in the league.

  9. genericuser8888 says: Nov 8, 2013 3:23 PM

    Rob Ryan has turned our D around in New Orleans.

    We love him down here. His drinking, eating, and hippy-ish ways fit right in down here.

    After home wins, he even goes by a local bar and buys the entire crowd a round. Did he do that in Dallas too? Not that I am aware of.

  10. footballhistorian says: Nov 8, 2013 3:23 PM

    Rob Ryan isn’t going to be the problem this weekend – Darren Sproles is…along with some guy named Brees. I also expect Pierre Thomas to have a good day too.

  11. jimnaizeeum says: Nov 8, 2013 3:26 PM

    Jerry is a funny guy…who would want an aggressive defense?

  12. floridaslonechargersfan says: Nov 8, 2013 3:28 PM

    Anyone remember when Jones said he wanted to “trim the fat” and then he fired Rob Ryan?

  13. pftfan says: Nov 8, 2013 3:30 PM

    Say what you will about their personalities, brashness, etc…but MANY people have lost their money betting against a Ryan family defense.

  14. elroyjetsson says: Nov 8, 2013 3:33 PM

    accipiterq says:
    Nov 8, 2013 3:22 PM
    I don’t understand how Ryan is still a d-coordinator in this league. Look up the stats on where his defenses have finished ranked every year. His highest…HIGHEST..ranking defense was 19th in the league.
    __________________________

    Because you need players and time to develope a good D. Belichick happens to be a great defensive mind, but they havent had the players.

  15. calicowboysfan86 says: Nov 8, 2013 3:42 PM

    I liked that the players wanted to play well for Ryan. He motivated the team and seemed to have a more personal connection with the D. He had a complex scheme and zero time to implement it. The majority of his starters were out the majority of time he was coaching. He still got players to play well that were being signed off the streets. No one is a fan of a scheme that looks to be failing but I wouldn’t be too confident to say he had much of a chance to implement his scheme to begin with. I’m glad to see he’s having success in NO.

  16. lawyermalloy says: Nov 8, 2013 3:42 PM

    While everyone complains about Rob not being a HC, ask him if he want to be. He’s making 3.5 as a coordinator, and will always have a job; who needs the aggravation that comes with the HC position??

  17. swaggyy says: Nov 8, 2013 3:43 PM

    Looks like another plan that backfired on poor jerruh. At least he’s rich as hell. Props to him for that.

  18. youafool says: Nov 8, 2013 3:45 PM

    Romo is going to light up Ryan’s D on Sunday. Dallas 35 Saints 24

  19. weekendwarriorko says: Nov 8, 2013 3:49 PM

    I think Ryan had a great system in Dallas, he just happened to lose over half of his defense, including some of his best players (Ware and Sean Lee jump to mind) to injury. The Cowboys suffered an amazing amount of defensive injuries compromising everything Ryan was trying to do. He was just the scapegoat for the whole situation. The guy knows how to coach defenses.

  20. keylimelight says: Nov 8, 2013 3:51 PM

    I think Jones was implying that he wanted the Cowboys D to be less complex, not less aggressive.

    Sean Payton seems to have taken Rob Ryan’s style into account. The Saints’ D has proven to work well this season with all the packages and looks that RR is using.

  21. watchdawg1103 says: Nov 8, 2013 3:54 PM

    I swear I think Jerry wants us to fail sometimes. RYAN wasn’t the coach he needed to get rid of. And what he is doing in New Orleans further shows it. Our players just couldn’t grasp the concepts, and apparently still can’t.

  22. sb44champs says: Nov 8, 2013 4:05 PM

    accipiterq says:
    Nov 8, 2013 3:22 PM
    I don’t understand how Ryan is still a d-coordinator in this league. Look up the stats on where his defenses have finished ranked every year. His highest…HIGHEST..ranking defense was 19th in the league.
    ==========================
    Rob Ryan is proving this year just how good of a DC he really is..

  23. watchdawg1103 says: Nov 8, 2013 4:10 PM

    youafool says:
    Nov 8, 2013 3:45 PM
    Romo is going to light up Ryan’s D on Sunday. Dallas 35 Saints 24

    ————————————

    I love my Cowboys, but our play calling is terrible! For us to see 35 it will take turnovers (but this is Brees), defense to make stands (wishful thinking) and for us to be aggressive on offense. I swear if I see that delayed draw play one more time…..it’s not fooling anyone.

  24. seattlelibtard says: Nov 8, 2013 4:13 PM

    I’ve never seen a defensive coordinator get as much television screen time as Ryan. Even the commentators talk like he is the head coach. When he was with the cowboys, he got more screen time than Garrett. Of course Garrett is as animated as Tom Landry’s hat.

  25. mrbullgator says: Nov 8, 2013 4:29 PM

    Anyone else find it funny that the GM fired the DC? Did Garret have a say or does this just confirm that Garret is just your puppet Jerrah?!

  26. mdd913 says: Nov 8, 2013 4:32 PM

    thestrategyexpert says: Nov 8, 2013 3:12 PM
    He gets a lot out of a not so incredibly impressive group on paper.

    ————————————————-

    Except that they are impressive on paper too. Nobody could see it because “OMG worstest d in NFL history LOLOL” but over the last couple of years the Saints have been quietly drafting and assembling a defense full of very good players. They drafted Junior Galette and Pat Robinson in 2010, then Cameron Jordan in 2011, then Akiem Hicks and Corey White in 2012, then Vacarro and Jonathan Jenkins this year. All of those guys have been key players. Jordan, Galette and Vacarro are all studs. Then look at the free agents they’ve added the last two years: Bunkley, Lofton, Hawthorne, Lewis, Haralson. Rock-solid veterans, Lofton, Hawthorne and Lewis are all playing at very high levels. And there are some up-and-comers not listed above like Glenn Foster and Rafael Bush that are also playing great football and primed to take on bigger roles in the next couple years.

    So in fact it is a VERY impressive collection of talent and especially when you consider how they asssembled it in basically 2 years time. There is youth all over the D and not a lot of weak spots. And contrary to popular belief they’re not doing it with smoke and mirrors either. They play essentially a base nickel defense and don’t blitz a lot.

  27. thelastbesthope says: Nov 8, 2013 5:02 PM

    All I know is that gave me 2 stinkin’ points vs the Jets, who usually are good for some to’s and maybe a pic-6.

    I lost by 4.

  28. athwartships says: Nov 8, 2013 5:07 PM

    A good owner might have realized by now that they don’t know what the hell they are doing and just hire good talent THEN leave them to do their job….too bad old JJ is not a good owner and never will be.

    Maybe he likes owning a professionaly mediocre team.

    ….and while we are at it…can we stop calling them “America’s Team”? It’s a ridiculous moniker attached to an even more ridiculous team.

  29. davemishsr says: Nov 8, 2013 6:45 PM

    The Cowboys are screwed for as long as Jerry Jones owns that team. They have done nothing since the team Jimmy Johnson put together was slowly dismantled. Barry Switzer was able to win a Super Bowl coaching Jimmy’s team. Since then not so much. Jerry’s ego is his undoing. Firing Jimmy because he wouldn’t admit, and rightfully so, that Jerry knew as much about football as he does was comical and the team still hasn’t recovered.

  30. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Nov 8, 2013 7:11 PM

    rob ryan had street free agents coming in and starting over the last half of the season in ’12 with the boys. jerry scapegoated him; and hopefully now he pays him back….

  31. hernandez0792 says: Nov 8, 2013 8:42 PM

    Jerry, needs to worry about his own defense instead of the Saints D come Sunday. Brees is ready to break another record on this sorry D.

  32. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 8, 2013 9:25 PM

    mdd913:

    But you can’t really argue that they could be better if they didn’t get hit at least by the injury bug. This wasn’t a perfect team on paper and I carefully worded things as “not incredibly impressive” so that we didn’t have to nitpick on the quality of the roster which almost always can possibly be better.

    But in this case they had a handful of guys that were arguably certain locks to make the roster that went down with injury, and they do have a lot of good players but they don’t have a ton of depth of huge names or hot prospects. I just like what I’ve seen so far because they are one of the few units that I was expecting to give up a significant amount of more points than they have, and that counts for some kind of credit due back to Rob Ryan.

  33. sportsguy3434 says: Nov 8, 2013 10:45 PM

    @mrbullgator…exactly what I was thinking. GM owner makes call on firing DC? Tells Wade Phillips that Garret is OC? Alex, I will take “Meddeling owners for $1 billion.” Cowboys had a depleted D last year and again this year. Wait, who is in charge of personnel? Oh the GM. If ANY other GM had a team that didn’t win a playoff game in this long they would be fired. Jerry, run your stadium. Drop the press conferences. Cut the strings of all the puppet coaches since Johnson (besides Parcells). No great coach will work under your scrutiny. You are killing your investment.

  34. whodatnhollywood says: Nov 9, 2013 1:26 PM

    Well Uncle Jerry, you got what you asked for: A less aggressive defense. Now, you’re #31. Basically the Saints and ‘Boys have flipped defensive rankings from a year ago. It’s lonely at the bottom.

  35. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Nov 9, 2013 7:35 PM

    JJ was forced to dumb down the defense because the players weren’t smart enough to handle it.

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