Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) with his son, executive vice president Stephen Jones prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at AT

Jerry Jones: Learning from his Mistakes


It’s been a little over a year since Rob Ryan was fired.  It came as a bit of a shock at the time, but fans tried to rationalize the move. Rob Ryan’s defense was at best average during his tenure in Dallas. It was seemingly unorganized and chaotic. As we all know, Rob Ryan went to New Orleans and found some success in his first year as their defensive coordinator. The Cowboys, under Monte Kiffin, had a terrible year and was ranked last in terms of yards.

Near the end of the 2013 season, fans were calling for Kiffin’s head. The defense was in shambles. Injuries plagued the front seven. Talented players were under performing. It seemed like every backup quarterbacks were having career games against us. The defense was bad and fans wanted change. Yet Jerry decided recently, that Kiffin shall stay. Perhaps Jerry is learning from his mistake of firing Rob Ryan.

I was very critical of Jerry, when Rob Ryan got fired. It made no sense to me. One reason I didn’t like the firing was because Rob Ryan’s system takes at least two years to implement. We fired him at the end of his second year, so I feel like we never got to see his defense in full effect. While Monte Kiffin does not take as long to implement a defense, he still needs time in obtaining personnel that fits his defense. Rob Ryan’s scheme was the exact opposite in philosophy to Kiffin’s. So it only makes sense that some players don’t fit in Kiffin’s scheme. Bruce Carter is the first player that comes to mind. One year is a very small sample size to judge a coach, I mean look at the Browns after they fired Chudzinski.

Like in the 2012 season, the defense was plagued with injuries this season. I think Jerry realized that missing your star defensive players can really hinder the unit’s performance. The main reason for Ryan’s downfall was because of all the injuries he had to deal with. Kiffin had the same problem this year, but he was not unfairly fired like Rob Ryan. It looks like Kiffin gets the benefit of the doubt, because Jerry realized his mistake of firing Ryan the year before.

I don’t think Kiffin is as good of a coordinator as Rob Ryan; however I do believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt. One year is simply too small of a sample size to judge a coach on. There were some flashes on defense this year, but we do need to see some consistency. I think it’s possible for Kiffin to succeed in Dallas, and Jerry does too. Jerry as a General Manager is learning from his mistakes. We can only hope it pays off.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Featured Jerry Jones Monte Kiffin Popular Rob Ryan

  • John

    Amen to every point you made save one: That it was a mistake to fire Rob Ryan. It was only a mistake if it was done as a result of the defense underperforming – surely that was not Ryan’s fault with all the injuries. If he was fired solely for the purpose of transitioning to a 4-3, then it could still prove to be a smart move. Jury’s out – expect a verdict in 2014.

  • Lils Roro

    The hiring & firing of a coordinator should be the head coaches job, not the owner. That’s why head coaches get paid the big bucks. Ryan was successful in New Orleans in large part because he was interviewed, hired, and subsequently supported by Sean Payton, the head coach. If anything, that’s what Jerry should have learned.

    • Scott.

      Not that I don’t agree with every word you said but you have to remember Jerry is owner and gm. So that is his job description too.

  • Josh

    Who are you to make these absurd claims? If there is anyone on this defense who the scheme change was supposed to fit it is Bruce Carter. Not to mention as much as I dislike Kiffin’s scheme, he is a hall of fame caliber coordinator, while Ryan’s best defense was this season’s saints. The only chance this defense has of being any better than awful next season is if we hit on multiple solid pass rushers in this draft, which is what Kiffin’s scheme is built on.

  • Earl Robertson

    The main problem is these players can’t stay on the field! Is that ever going to change?

  • GoalLineStan

    Jones has made so many mistakes the law of averages has to catch up with him. Even a broken watch is right two times a day.

  • jrcowboy49

    After 23 years he is still a stooge and a joke to the league.

  • james

    As a Cowboy fan for almost 40 years it seems unlikely that changing the defensive scheme when the salary cap was restricted and personal were not in place was going to be a failure. Ware is not a down lineman nor is Spencer. They did not have the cap to go after Legitimate defensive tackles. The front seven was ineffective and left defensive back field suspect. Especially the fact that safety’s are underperforming. The middle of the field was the weak spot all season. Injuries are a factor but the personnel are the GM’S responsibility. If Jerry would stop overpaying for players ie.Miles Austin. We would have monies to acquire the personnel needed to run the systems. Hiring Lineman to call plays? Why?? Keeping Kiffin on the staff and still Callahan on? What the hell is Jerry doing? I am disappointed with the moves thus far as it doesn’t to change anything in the near future. Garrett is a pawn just like previous head coaches such as Wade Phillips and Dave Campo and will fail just the same.