After another disappointing season in Dallas, the Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on Tuesday. Shortly after sources confirmed the firing to FOXSports.com, Ryan began telling friends in the league that he has been let go.
He then confirmed the news himself, though apparently is not too concerned about being unemployed.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweeted that Ryan told him, "I’ll be out of work for like five minutes."
”At this time, the decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett later said in a statement. ”I have an immense amount of respect for Rob as a person and as a football coach.”
Some players also reacted to the firing, taking to Twitter to praise Ryan.
”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.”
The Cowboys ranked 19th in the NFL in total defense in 2012 and gave up the ninth-most points in the league, 25 per game. It was his second season with the team. In 2011, the Cowboys were 14th in total defense and gave up 53 fewer points.
Dallas’ defense sputtered down the stretch this season, surrendering at least 28 points in four of the final six games of 2012, going 3-3 in the process. Some of that, however, could be attributed to the loss of key cogs on defense, including inside linebackers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, who were both lost for the season before December.
Dallas was Ryan’s fourth stop in his NFL coaching career, as he served as defensive coordinator in Cleveland (2009-10) and Oakland (2004-08) after coaching linebackers in New England from 2000-03.
The firing came a day after Dallas cut loose running backs coach Skip Peete. The Cowboys finished the season 8-8, losing to Washington in Week 17 in a game where the victor would win the NFC East and the loser would go home.