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November 06, 2013

Garrett says he stays in touch with Rob Ryan, 'a great football coach and great guy'

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said his relationship with Rob Ryan did not end when he fired his former defensive coordinator. He said it continues and that he has affection for Ryan as a person and a coach.

“Oh, it’s ongoing,” Garrett said Wednesday at his press conference, asked if the relationship ended on a good note. “It’s an ongoing relationship. I have a great deal of respect for Rob as a coach and as a person. I have a great deal of affection for him, and for everything he did when he was here for the couple of years as our defensive coordinator. He and I have spoken and stayed in touch. He’s a great guy, and I just can’t thank him enough.”

Garrett said at the Senior Bowl last January that the main reason Ryan was dismissed was because his defense didn’t force enough turnovers. The Cowboys exceeded their takeaway total from last year in Game 8 this year.

Garrett didn’t go over that again Wednesday, but he said he learned a lot from Ryan.

“He’s a heck of a competitor, too,” Garrett said. “That’s one of the things we certainly liked about him, and we’ll be challenged by what he’s doing on defense, certainly, on Sunday night.”

Asked who has the advantage since Ryan knows the Cowboys offense and the Cowboys offense knows Ryan, Garrett said there aren’t necessarily that many similarities from year to year.

“Some of the stuff that Rob has done here, certainly you can try to interpret what they’re doing maybe a little bit better,” Garrett said. “But it’s a different defense than what he had here. He’s doing a fantastic job, and Rob’s a great football coach, and he’s a great guy. We were lucky to have him here for a couple of years.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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