Dallas Cowboys Fire DC Rob Ryan
Is it me, or is Jerry Jones just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic that is the Dallas Cowboys.
In his latest move, the egomaniacal owner - probably the only owner that holds a press conference in his team's locker room after every game - fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. And let's be perfectly clear, it wasn't head coach Jason Garrett that fired Ryan, it was Jones.
After the Cowboys lost to the Washington Redskins in the final game of the season, eliminating them from the playoffs, Jones said he was going to make it uncomfortable for the people in Valley Ranch.
Now I will admit, I am not a big fan of Rob Ryan. Heck, I'm not a big fan of any of the Ryan family. For a family that really hasn't accomplished much of anything (and I am including Buddy, Rex and Rob in that list), they think pretty highly of themselves.
That being said, Ryan was absolutely right when he told ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon,
"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better. I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I'll be out of work for like five minutes."
When Ryan arrived in Dallas, the Cowboys were ranked at the bottom of the league in defense. In a year, Ryan moved the team up to 19th overall, despite losing 5 defensive starters to injuries, losing key reserves, and trying to incorporate numerous new players, draft picks and free agents. Throw in the fact that his best defensive player - DeMarcus Ware - played several games one-armed due to an elbow injury and it makes Ryan's work even more impressive.
He may be a tad high on himself, but Rob is a great defensive coach.
Jones' other move to make people 'uncomfortable'? Firing runnings back coach Skip Peete. Yeah, that's a bold move. Firing the man who had to oversee a group of injured, and over-rated running backs.
The issue, and I have stated this before, is that the only person who should be uncomfortable is Jerry Jones. He is the team's defacto GM and he is the one making all the football decisions. As we have seen this offseason, when a team fails to make the playoffs year-after-year, the coach is the first to go. And if not him, then the GM.
In the case of Dallas, which hasn't made the playoffs since the 2009 season, both the coach and the "GM" seem safe.
Obviously, Jones is not going to fire the GM - himself. His ego would never allow him to bring in a true GM because that would be akin to admitting he doesn't know what he is doing. And I don't think he is going to fire Garrett, because let's face it, Garrett is not going to stand up to Jones and tell him he's wrong.
And besides, who would Jones get to replace Garrett? What successful, big name coach would be willing to take on a team whose owner won't stay out of football decisions? Did Jones really think that a coach like Sean Payton, a control freak himself, would have been willing to come to Dallas (even with a home in Texas)?
Jones will always be able to find an eager coordinator willing to cowtow to Jones in order to get a head coaching gig, but I don't think the major names are willing to deal with Jones. There are too many other opportunities out there.
In a recent interview, Jones admitted he liked how the Redskins, who had just eliminated his Cowboys, were set up. Ironic. It wasn't until Dan Snyder realized he wasn't a GM, stepped back and hired Brucel Allen as GM and Mike Shanahan as President of Football Operations (and coach), that the Redskins started improving.
Will Jones do the same?
Rob Ryan. Skip Peete. I'm thinking, NO.