The Dallas Cowboys released fiery defensive co-ordinator Rob Ryan on Tuesday after another disappointing season that saw them miss the playoffs.
Ryan, the twin brother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, had spent the last two seasons with the Cowboys where his demonstrative demeanor made him a colorful figure on the sidelines. He had one year remaining on a three-year contract.
The Dallas defense did not show enough improvement, however, as they struggled with injuries and finished last in the NFL in interceptions.
Demanding owner Jerry Jones promised changes after the team finished 8-8 for the second consecutive year. The Cowboys have not reached the post-season since 2009.
“I want to express my appreciation to Rob for all of his efforts and contributions to the Cowboys over the past two years,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a statement. “At this time, the decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense. I have an immense amount of respect for Rob as a person and as a football coach and I wish him and his family the very best.”
Ryan was on vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands when he was told by phone he wouldn’t return.
“I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better,” Ryan told ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon. “I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I’ll be out of work for like five minutes.”
Ryan wasn’t the only member of the coaching staff to be let go. Running backs coach Skip Peete was told he wouldn’t return.