After the Redskins knocked off the Cowboys in last year’s NFC title game it was widely expected that heads would roll around Valley Ranch. After all, Jerry Jones isn’t the type of owner to accept losing without someone (other than himself) taking the blame.
The scape-goat ended up being Rob Ryan. Beloved by Cowboys fans for his rambunctious nature and Giant-cursing ways, the Dude was informed of his release while abiding in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Meanwhile, Cowboys fans (and players) mourned the loss of the most colorful Dallas coach in recent memory. It seemed to be another clumsy knee-jerk reaction from sports’ most trigger happy owner. Another symptom of the problem that has plagued Dallas for almost half a century: Jerry Jones.
However, to put this decision on Jerry alone would require one to ignore everything that has taken place in Dallas since Jason Garrett took over as head coach. Simply put, this is Jason’s team now. Jerry may be the one who signs the checks, but when it comes to football decision Garrett has the final say.
Obviously there is no concrete proof that Garrett wanted Rob Ryan fired. He’s not the type of coach that would come out and say such a thing. Garrett values confidentiality. His press conferences are an exercise in circumlocution.
But think about it.
Rob Ryan made a habit of being the polar opposite to Garrett’s coaching style. He boasted. He bragged. In the week leading up to Dallas’ loss against Detroit in 2011, when Garrett called Megatron (then Calvin Johnson) “arguably the best player in the National Football League” Ryan was quoted as saying “We work against better receivers with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.” Garrett preferred modesty. Ryan wanted glory. We know how that story played out. Considering their polar opposite coaching styles, it’s amazing that some professional Cowboys writers put the blame solely on Jerry Jones for the firing of Rob Ryan.
When you take a step back to look at the situation, the Cowboys under Jason Garrett make much more sense with Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator.
Kiffin’s defense is simple. He doesn’t try to trick the opposition’s offense with exotic schemes. He simply asks his players to do their job to the best of their abilities. He trusts in his players skills and their ability to follow the “process”. It fits Garrett’s philosophy perfectly.
When Cowboys’ offense lines up against the Saints’ defense tonight there will no doubt be talk of Ryan’s unceremonious dismissal from the Cowboys. And, considering the success New Orleans has had on that side of the ball this season (and Dallas’ woes), there will undoubtedly be discussion over whether or not that was the correct decision.
But, as a Cowboys fan, you should know one thing for sure.
Garrett is happier with Rob Ryan on the other side of the field.