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Cowboys Fire Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan After 8-8 Season

The Dallas Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after finishing the season with the 19th- ranked defense in the National Football League.

“The decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense,” coach Jason Garrett said in a statement on the team’s website last night.

Ryan’s exit came a day after Dallas fired running backs coach Skip Peete. The team missed out on the playoffs with a 28-18 loss to the Washington Redskins on the final day of the regular season.

The Cowboys went 8-8 in each of Ryan’s two seasons in Dallas. The Oakland Raiders never had a winning record in five seasons with Ryan as defensive coordinator, while the Browns finished 5-11 in both of his seasons in the same role in Cleveland. Ryan, the brother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, had a year left on his contract with the Cowboys.

Rob Ryan was on vacation in Turks & Caicos, about 650 miles (1,000 kilometers) southeast of Florida, when he was told of his dismissal in a phone call with Garrett, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“It didn’t last long,” Ryan told the newspaper. “I have no hard feelings, but it doesn’t matter if I coach here or not. I’ll find another spot. I’m too damn good.”

The Dallas defense ranked 17th in the 32-team NFL against the run this season and 21st against the pass.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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