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Jason Garrett: Lack of turnovers led to Rob Ryan firing

The Dallas Cowboys' dismissal of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan initially came as a surprise, but it portended other changes.

After Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was stripped of his play-calling duties, he shed light on why Ryan was sent packing in favor of Monte Kiffin.

"The Bears had 44 takeaways. We had 16. That's 28 more opportunities with the ball," Garrett told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from the Senior Bowl. "Give me some of those 28 opportunities. That's something that we really sat back and thought a lot about, had a lot of discussions about -- what's the best way to try to achieve that, and then, 'OK, you want to do that, now who are the guys who can help implement that?' "

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Ryan's defense generated 21 turnovers in 2011 and five fewer in 2012. Numbers aside, the Cowboys were a better unit in 2012. The secondary improved, and few teams would have survived the injury bug that nailed Dallas down the stretch.

Owner Jerry Jones, however, is tired of watching the NFC power structure shift and evolve with the Cowboys on the outskirts. Some of the team changes appear desperate, but the Star-Telegram reported that Garrett hinted Ryan's position was in danger for some time.

"It's probably unfair to say that (during the season), because what you're trying to do is you're trying to make everything work," Garrett said. "You know, you're trying to say we can make this work."

That, we all know, didn't happen in Big D.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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