Jerry Jones has said Rob Ryan had a “come to Jesus” year in 2011, which forced him to make changes. The Cowboys defensive coordinator agreed some things have changed.
“I’m lighter. Feel good,” Ryan said. “I’m only talking to the media once a week now. I guess hopefully I change for the better.”
Ryan, who is in his second year with the Cowboys, is 55 pounds lighter after surgery with Dr. Adam Smith at Fort Worth Lap-Band in February. He is less talkative, too, vowing to submit only to the once-weekly sessions required under the NFL’s media access policy. The outspoken Ryan said it was his idea to talk less.
“I’m just trying to do the right thing,” Ryan said. “I don’t think I need to be distraction for this football team. There is a way the Dallas Cowboys do things, and I think that’s a professional way to do it. I don’t need to be outspoken out there. I’m going to let our players do our talking. It’s time to quit talking and start doing something. That’s what we all buy into as a defense. That’s what I buy into, and that’s what we’re all believing in.”
The Cowboys blew five fourth-quarter leads last season. They allowed 3,906 passing yards, the second-most in team history. Worse, the Cowboys finished only 8-8 and missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
“I still stand behind the job I did last season,” Ryan said. “I wasn’t horrendous. I know everybody says I was, but I wasn’t. Believe me.”
He does, however, expect he and his defense to be better this season. The Cowboys are ranked seventh overall, including fifth against the pass, after one week.
"We plan on being an excellent defense, and if everything goes right, then we will be,” Ryan said. “But we’ve got a lot to prove.”
-- Charean Williams