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Rob Ryan leaves Browns to take over Cowboys' defense

The Dallas Cowboys hired Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator, a league source confirmed Sunday.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora previously reported that Ryan and the Cowboys met Friday, and both sides came away impressed.

Ryan has one year remaining on his contract with the Cleveland Browns, but he wasn't expected to return after the team fired coach Eric Mangini and replaced him with St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Dick Jauron is the front-runner to take over the Browns' defense, La Canfora reported, although he's also in the running for the Philadelphia Eagles' coordinator job.

The Cowboys had been seeking a full-time defensive coordinator since firing head coach Wade Phillips, who also ran the unit. Paul Pasqualoni served as the interim defensive coordinator under Jason Garrett for the last part of the 2010 season, but he accepted the University of Connecticut's head-coaching job last week.

Ryan, the 48-year-old son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and twin brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, has been in the NFL for 12 years. He was defensive coordinator in Cleveland the past two seasons and held the same job with the Oakland Raiders for five seasons.

Under Ryan, the Browns' defense finished 20th in points allowed per game (20.8) and 22nd in yards allowed (350.1). Cleveland went 5-11 for the second consecutive season, leading to Mangini's dismissal.

Ryan played college football at Southwestern Oklahoma State and landed his first pro job when he joined his father's Arizona Cardinals staff as defensive backs coach.

With Rob Ryan running the defense, the Browns lost 26-20 on Nov. 14 to his brother's Jets in overtime. The run-up to the game included amusing jabs between the brothers making fun of each other's diets and wardrobes.

The Cowboys and Jets are scheduled to play each other next season at New Meadowlands Stadium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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