Rob Ryan fired by Dallas Cowboys after two seasons

Jerry Jones promised changes were coming. The Dallas Cowboys owner said the weeks and months ahead at Valley Ranch would be very uncomfortable following another 8-8 failure.

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Rob Ryan learned Tuesday he was one of those changes, fired as defensive coordinator after two seasons in a move first reported by Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer and later confirmed by the Cowboys.

Ryan told The Dallas Morning News that he learned of his fate while on vacation in Turks & Caicos. Coach Jason Garrett called Ryan on his cell phone with the news.

"They want uncomfortable," Ryan said. "I'm comfortably numb."

We didn't need Jones to tell us changes were on the way following a second consecutive Cowboys season that ended with a bitter Week 17 loss to an NFC East rival. It started Monday with the dismissal of running backs coach Skip Peete.


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Tuesday, it was Ryan's turn.

With his long silver hair and brash attitude, Ryan often found himself in the headlines during his time in Dallas. But the Cowboys were a middling unit in both his seasons with the team, finishing 14th in total defense in 2011 and 19th this season.

"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better," Ryan told ESPNDallas.com. "I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better.

"I'll be out of work for like five minutes," Ryan went on. "I think I did a good job, and I think our staff did a good job on defense trying to compete with what we had at the end of the year. But the best job we did was when we were able to coach our starters."

Garrett said last week that Ryan "did a really good job managing" a Cowboys defense besieged by injuries, but the coach declined to confirm Ryan would be back. Now we know why.


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Ryan's future might not be as safely mapped out as he believes, at least if he's looking for a lateral move. It's hard to ignore the fact that none of Ryan's teams have posted a winning record during his nine years as a defensive coordinator.

And no, don't expect to see the beat writer apocolypse that would be Rob Ryan united with twin brother Rex on the New York Jets. Glazer already tweeted that's not happening.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.