Rob Ryan: Cowboys’ D will be great if we solve red zone problems

Getty Images

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan says there’s just one area of the field where he needs his players to perform better for his defense to achieve greatness.

“We’re not playing good defense and it’s only because of the red zone. If we get that cleaned up, we’ll have a great defense,” Ryan told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s been disappointing. It takes everybody’s focus and for us to be where we want to be, where everybody wants us to be, we have to play better there.”

Of course, struggling in the red zone isn’t just a little quirk of an otherwise great defense, and solving problems in the red zone isn’t just some minor tweak. If you’re not good at keeping your opponents out of the end zone once they get inside the 20-yard line, you’re not a good defense.

And it’s also not quite true to suggest that the Cowboys’ only problem is in the red zone: In Sunday’s win over the Redskins, Washington marched down the field on a 12-play, 89-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime, and then had a 10-play, 48-yard drive in overtime to set up an attempt at a game-winning field goal. The Redskins’ overtime field goal attempt missed, and the Cowboys then won the game with a field goal of their own, but Ryan’s defense can hardly take credit for that.

So while he’s admitting the red zone is an area where he needs his defense to get better, Ryan may be overstating the overall quality of his defense. Not exactly breaking news, I know.

43 responses to “Rob Ryan: Cowboys’ D will be great if we solve red zone problems

  1. So Rob, your defense would be great if you stopped the opposing team from scoring, is what you’re saying.

    Good thinking, I think we’re all inclined to agree. Might as well cross Lombardi’s name off the trophy, there’s a new genius in the house.

  2. Once Rex sorts that problem out, he will work on the next failing of the defense, letting teams get into the red zone so easily

  3. One way to improve your Red Zone defense is too not let the opponent in the Red Zone, especially allowing them to drive down the field in the last few minutes of the game!!

  4. Still missing their best cornerback on the team due to injury. Wish everyone would get off this look at how well the pathetic Redskins did crap. Anybody that is a die hard fan of either of these teams knows that 90% of the games within this rivalry come down to the last minute. I don’t care how good or bad either team is, that game is always a dog fight. And at the end of the game if you were able to find a way to win, however it might be, your thrilled and just happy to move on from it.

  5. if a franchise needs a spark

    hire Rob Ryan

    he’s one of those who will come in right away and become relevant, win, actually making a team worth following.

    half the teams in the NFL are irrelevant after week 8.

  6. Dallas D has more problems then just in the redzone. I know the skins and cowboys always play each other tough but the redskins couldn’t do anything on offense for weeks, and they let them march down the field easily on that last drive. Cant say to much about the others cuz the skins had a very short field, but the final drive of regulation is when an elite defense steps up. or on short filds just gives up fgs and not TDs to the worst offense in the league.

  7. He needs to shut up. His defenses have been mediocre at best. If he ever wanted to be a head coach he is not doing himself any favors by constantly yaking. We hear more from him than the actual Cowboys coach or Jerry which is astounding

  8. So basically the D’s only problem is keeping other teams from scoring. oh well, gladd to see its something minor.

  9. I think the Defense has been pretty solid, however, I’m afraid that Shannahan’s staff found a weakness. It seemed to me that they found the middle of the defense is weak against the pass. It was like every time they threw the ball in the middle the skins gained yards. Now that it is on film I’m afaid other teams will see this and follow suit. We’ll see….

  10. I wouldn’t say they marched down the field that easily on that last drive. I mean if they were moving the ball THAT easily they wouldn’t have had to settle for a 52 yard FG attempt by their <70% kicker. Their last set of downs were a run for -2, pass for 5, sack for -1.

  11. Man I wish Poseidon would just shut up already. The Ryan brothers are all steak and no sizzle. I hate how much they cut to him on the tv coverage. Ol facelift needs to bring in Jeff Fisher if he wants some results.

  12. Yes Rex, giving up less points WILL mean your defense is better.

    Is it really necessary to turn every word of “coach speak” into a headline on slow news days?

    Instead of wasting your time and ours on these worthless stories how about saving up your time and using it by writing some intriguing pieces on HOW things aren’t what they seem, or WHY things are unfolding as are, and you know….telling us something we don’t already know.

    Just an idea.

  13. I will enjoy watching neither of these Ryan clowns win a SB. Yeah, I know Rex was DL coach for the Ravens, but it was Marvin Lewis’ defense. Their mouths like to write checks the large a@@’s can cash.

  14. He’ll be okay. He can get a turkey and stuffing down before the game and then go get another one and more stuffing and a pie after.

  15. Immediately after that article was published Jim Caldwell marched down to Chris Polian’s office and said “See this! See this? Isn’t this exactly what I have been telling you. If we can only stop the opposing team from getting to the Red Zone and then into the End Zpne, well golly gee I think we have ourselves ne heck of a defense. We would still be 0 and 10 though because our offense can’t get to the Red Zone often enough and the few times it does it can’t get to the End Zone.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!