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Something to think about re: Cowboys firing Rob Ryan

To most people’s surprise the Cowboys parted ways with Rob Ryan, their loud mouthed legacy hire Defensive Coordinator. At the end of yet another failed-to-make-the-playoffs season, Cowboys owner/general manager/team terrorist Jerry Jones promised that uncomfortable changes would lie ahead.

If I can presume to know the mind of most Cowboys fans, the most welcome uncomfortable changes that come to mind are the end of Jason Garrett’s short and shoddy tenure and an exit strategy to get QB Tony Romo out of there. Romo has become toxic and indicative of the team’s middling mindset. That’s not to say that I think Jerry Jones is content to swim in mediocrity’s room temperature waters but much like his irresolute division rival Jeffrey Lurie keeping Andy Reid past the 2007 season his decisions indicate otherwise. If Lurie is the helpless Mayor from the Powerpuff Girls than Jones is the ever plotting and failing Mojo JoJo. 

Speaking of the Eagles, firing Rob Ryan strikes me as very similar to firing Juan Castillo. Sure, it probably needed to be done at some point but not before this, that, that, and that other thing over there. Yes Ryan has some odd ways of communicating and conducting a defense, and no he was not consistently effective or disciplined, but were the Cowboys a more functional organization with strong leadership, I could see Ryan being managed better and outliving this current crop and being fired as the last part of methodical overhaul if necessary.

But the Cowboys are not particularly methodical when it comes to these things. Or, at least, it doesn’t seem that way.  One thing to remember is that, although the emerging storyline is that Rob Ryan never got the defenses of any of the dysfunctional teams he coached for into the postseason, only Head Coaches  (and front offices) are truly judged on wins and losses. And that may have factored into Ryan’s firing.

Jones’ golden choice Jason Garrett was given a pass last season as Jones informed us all in October that Garrett really hadn’t been given a chance as he hadn’t coached 2 full seasons yet.  Jason Garrett was hired January 6th 2011. Rob Ryan was hired January 11, 2011. Maybe Garrett was all for hiring Rob Ryan but 5 days in between the “official” hiring of a big name doesn’t seem like a lot of time for a nobody head coach, albeit one very well liked by his boss, to choose “his guy.”  Rob Ryan’s hair and last name scream “Jerry Jones hired me.” 

If I’m Jason Garrett, and Rob Ryan is not my guy, I’m going to go to Jerry and make a case about why I need to put together my own lineup in order to be judged. I’d also make the case that if we’re “stuck with” solid but catastrophic-accident-prone Romo we simply cannot have a defense led by the most maniacal Ryan twin despite the bang up job he did with a defense full of players nobody had heard of before mid-season. 

Garrett has to be judged on his own merits which will be hard enough with Toxic Tony and MoJo JoJo surrounding him like an island. But if Ryan’s firing is an attempt to get control where allowed, it totally makes sense to me looking from the outside. Nobody wants to be a failed experiment. 


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