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Cowboys Fire Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan After 8-8 Season

Cowboys Fire Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan After 8-8 Season
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan of the Dallas Cowboys looks on in the third quarter of their game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, on Dec. 30, 2012. Photographer:Rob Carr/Getty Images

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- 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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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