Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, was fired after spending two seasons in Arlington, Texas. Long-time coach Bradley Sperling notes that many fans believe Ryan took the wrong approach with his players, which led to a disappointing season.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, finally spoke up about why he fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, according to an article on ESPN.com.
Jones realized the Dallas defense was depleted by injuries all season, but every team has to fight through the same issues and it appears that wasn’t an acceptable excuse for him. Even with those injuries, Jones says there are two particular games that jump out to him when the defense was fairly healthy. In the second week of the season, the Cowboys fell 27-7 to the Seattle Seahawks, who at that time were still figuring things out offensively with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. Two weeks later, Dallas lost at home 34-18 to the Chicago Bears.
The Seattle loss could be put on Ryan’s shoulders, but the loss to the Bears doesn’t seem fair. Quarterback Tony Romo threw five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. After a few of those games this season, many in the media believed Dallas head coach Jason Garrett was in hot water, but it appears the biggest head to roll will be Ryan’s.
Bradley Sperling notes that many fans have pointed out several errors made by Ryan. First, many fans say the language Ryan used and the way he spoke to the Dallas players probably caused a rift between the two. This may have been something Ryan learned from his father, Buddy Ryan, who was also a coach in the National Football League. Yelling is a technique that was used by an older generation of coaches, but Bradley Sperling says that approach is no longer favored.
Ryan was frequently seen shouting from the sidelines after bad plays by the defense. The way Ryan appeared to panic in some situations may have led to his firing. Players and owners want to see leadership out of their coaches and coordinators, but that’s not something Ryan succeeds at.
It is unknown where Ryan will land next. His brother and head coach of the New York Jets, Rex, needs to replace his defensive coordinator. That decision will likely come from the new general manager of the Jets, though, and not Rex.
Bradley Sperling teaches his belief that coaches can remain passionate about the game while removing personal feelings from the situation.