Rob Ryan was fired Tuesday after two seasons as the Dallas Cowboys'… (Michael Keating / Associated…)
Rob Ryan has been fired after two years as the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator.
That's bad news for all the football fans who enjoyed seeing the endless shots of the wild-eyed and even wilder-haired Ryan -- twin brother of New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan -- on the Cowboys sideline during national TV broadcasts. Also kind of a bummer for all the camera crews who have no choice now but to learn what Head Coach Jason Garrett looks like.
Several Dallas defenders took Tuesday's news pretty hard, voicing their displeasure on Twitter. “It was a privilege to play under Coach Rob Ryan! One of the greatest,” defensive end Jason Hatcher wrote. “Sad day. I'm hurting right now.”
But while it's never fun to be fired, Ryan himself seems pretty upbeat about the whole situation. Confident. One might even describe him as cocky.
"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better," Ryan told ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon. "I ... made them a hell of a lot better. I'll be out of work for like five minutes."
He has a point. The Cowboys were 14th in total defense this season, despite finishing the season with four starters on injured reserve and missing starting nose tackle Jay Ratliff for all but six games. But defensive collapses in the final two games of the season, in which the Cowboys controlled their playoff destiny, appear to have sealed Ryan's fate.
"I think I did a good job and I think our staff did a good job on defense trying to compete with what we had at the end of the year," said Ryan, who had one year remaining on his contract. "But the best job we did was when we were able to coach our starters."
New York Jets fire offensive coordinator Tony Sparano
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has surgery on his right knee
Cardinals' Darnell Dockett tweets phone number to Katherine Webb
The Associated Press contributed to this report.