The Cowboys defenders complained even before Wade Phillips was fired in the middle of last season that they had become predictable. Linebacker Bradie James said that won't be the case under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
"The thing about Rob is you won’t be able to know what defense we’re in," James said. "We had gotten to that point where people were just knowing what was going on. Now, it’s very interesting. It’s very interesting, and we’re just looking forward to getting started. As far as personnel, they [the coaches] don’t know us, and we don’t really know them, because we didn’t have that opportunity [to practice in the offseason]. But you might see a guy like [outside linebacker] Brandon Williams right next to me. You never know, because I know guys talked about player-friendly, but the way Rob does it, he just wants everybody to go out and have fun and get some."
James said he feels like a rookie again, carrying around "three playbooks" in a "luggage cart". Without OTAs and a minicamp, the Cowboys are having to learn a new defense on the run. But they like what they have seen so far. DeMarcus Ware said the defense feels invigorated after a season in which they allowed the most points (436) and yards (5,628) in team history.
"We know last year was tough," James said. "We went from being pretty good on defense [in 2009], and it just went downhill. The ship started sinking. Now, we have an opportunity with a new guy coming in. I feel like it’s tough to figure us out, but we have to figure it out to make it happen. We have to definitely execute everything that’s out there. But we’ve got a little while.
"I’m studying. I’m telling you I have luggage. I have my luggage bag. It’s that much information. I think he will definitely call whatever is best for the defense. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get everything in, but we’ll get the majority of the stuff in that’s part for our personnel. Looking forward to it."
-- Charean Williams