Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on the sidelines during the overtime period against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Steelers 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Ryan Gone As Dallas Cowboys DC, Who's Next?

When the season ended with yet another disappointing loss to a division rival I think everybody knew that changes were coming in the Dallas Cowboys organization. I don’t think that anybody would have thought that Rob Ryan would be under consideration to be axed though.

In two years as the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys the most you can say about the product that Ryan placed on the field is that it was maybe a little better than average. Let’s look a little deeper at the detail though.

In his first year he not only had old, slow linebackers in Keith Brooking and Bradie James, but also had to deal with a secondary that lost several games all by itself. Besides, the first year allows for experimentation and learning anyways. When all was said and done the defense still finished middle of the pack.

When year two rolled around, most of us definitely expected a lot more, especially considering some of the major upgrades acquired in the secondary. Both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne were expected to sure up the secondary while the younger linebackers in the middle came into their own. All was going according to plan until the injury bug gutted the defense.

This year’s defense looked incredibly promising in the short time it had together. Unfortunately that time was very short lived.

Guys like Ernie Sims and Brady Poppinga were called on to save the day, and while they were not great, they played exceptionally well given the circumstances. Despite all of the mess Dallas was still in contention for a playoff spot with much thanks owed to the defense.

When all was said and done we stared down the barrel at another.500 season with the same unanswered questions. Once again Rob Ryan took his defense and still only finished middle of the pack. I don’t think any of us were complaining though. In fact, I would say many of us were prepared to applaud the job done by Ryan and welcome him back to Dallas with open arms.

This move literally left me scratching my head. What could Jerry Jones possibly be thinking? Of all the people in the organization I was sure Rob Ryan had the most secure position going into next season. I guess that just proves that Jerry wasn’t bluffing when he spoke of uncomfortability.

I have to say though this one only makes me doubt more. I truly hope that Jerry has something magical up his sleeve, otherwise this just looks like another bad move to add to the plethora that we’ve witnessed over the past fifteen years.

Happy offseason everyone. It’s going to be a long one.

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