Cowboys coach Jason Garrett finally has his man.
After seeing three defensive coordinator candidates take jobs elsewhere, Garrett interviewed Rob Ryan and didn’t let him get away.
According to multiple sources, Ryan, the former Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator, has been tabbed to run the Cowboys defense.
The Cowboys interviewed Stanford coordinator Vic Fangio last Monday and then San Francisco 49ers coordinator Greg Manusky on Wednesday. But both took positions with the 49ers and the San Diego Chargers as expected respectively,
Paul Pasqualoni, who ran the Cowboys defense the last eight games of the season, went back to the college game as the Connecticut head coach.
And that’s when the Cowboys turned to Ryan, who came in on Friday for a whirlwind interview process.
And while it seems that the colorful Ryan, who is every bit the twin brother of Jets head coach Rex Ryan and son of ex-Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan, is an odd coupling with the button-downed and Ivy league educated Garrett, it might be the perfect pairing.
"Every other word from Ryan is a curse word," a source said. "But he might be what they need to get the guys going and bring a fire to their defense."
Garrett preached to his players all season about playing with passion. Well Ryan coaches with passion and it's needed to jump start a Cowboys defense that was arguably the worst in franchise history last season.
The Cowboys set team records for yards allowed, passing yards allowed, touchdowns allowed and points scored.
Also key to the pairing is Ryan’s experience. Ryan has seven years of NFL coordinator experience with the Oakland Raiders (2004-08) and the last two years with the Browns.
Considering that Garrett is a first time head coach, it was important that the hire a coordinator who wasn’t calling defensive plays for the first time.
Ryan runs the 3-4 defense that the Cowboys employ.
Ryan also has experience working with conservative and understated head coaches like Patriots boss Bill Belichick, when he was the linebacker coach, and Eric Mangini, his head coach in Cleveland.
The Cowboys had asked the Pittsburgh Steelers for permission to speak with secondary coach Ray Horton about the job. But Horton, a member of the Cowboys 1992 Super Bowl title team, would not be available for interview until after the Steelers were out of the playoffs or the week preceding the Super Bowl.
Now it’s no longer needed.
-- Clarence E. Hill Jr.