First, Rob, let me say – I like you. I like your attitude. You bring an unapologetic bravado to the Dallas Cowboys that we desperately need. We are much more physical and aggressive. Also, Rob, clearly you care about these Cowboys players and, as a result, they want to play hard for you.
They are buying in to your system and won’t quit on you like they did on Wade (at least I don’t think they will. You really can’t completely trust a unit once they’ve quit before, that includes DeMarcus Ware. Anyone who disagrees with this statement didn’t watch the Green Bay game last year). For these reasons and others, I’m glad you’re our Defensive Coordinator. Heck, I even put on a grey wig and a Dallas Cowboys hat and sweatshirt and went as you for Halloween! That being said, despite what you have instilled since you’ve been here, we can’t go very far with this defense.
I’m writing you this in hopes that you still have something up your sleeve.
So far the best things you can say about your Cowboys defense is that you are opportunistic and show some potential to be run stoppers when you focus on it. The worst thing you can say is that you’ve made some mediocre QB’s look like Tom Brady.
Maybe, and I have a hunch this is it, you don’t have the personnel to achieve the level of success your scheme would suggest. Your Defense consists of a few stand out stars – DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee – , a few players that flash potential – Mike Jenkins, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Orlando Scandrick – , a couple up and comers – Barry Church, Bruce Carter – , solid Journeymen – Gerald Sensabaugh, Terence Newman, Keith Brooking, Abe Elam, Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher), and bodies. Of course this is what I think of the Cowboys players. Being the Coordinator, you probably rank them differently. Regardless, I’m sure you would agree that only DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee and Jay Ratliff are not replaceable.
Maybe the problem is that your Dallas Cowboys Defense doesn’t have a signature identity. What about a nickname, Rob? It’s my idea, but you can use ‘the Ware-wolves’ if you want. Catchy play on words, don’t you think? You can always bring back the ‘Doomsday Defense’. Maybe then, with an identity, your players will have to play up to the name.
What ever it is Rob Ryan, you have got to figure something out. Every week you say “We’ll get this cleared up” or “We’ll get that straightened out” or “We can’t let that happen again, It’s on me fellas, I didn’t have them prepared”. At what point do you implement your scheme, stop getting cute, and have your Defense impose it’s will?
This off-season you and Garrett have got some tough decisions to make regarding personnel. Put more of your stamp on this Defense. I fully understand that these are Parcell’s and Phillips guys you’re working with. (I hope, selfishly, that you don’t go all Head Coach on us and, instead, stick around for a year or two) When you can do that, then maybe you can turn this aluminum foil Defense into steel.