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Rob Ryan 'shocked' by Dallas Cowboys dismissal

Rob Ryan landed on his feet with the New Orleans Saints, but he's still surprised his year began with a job search.

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"Oh yeah, look, I was a little shocked," Ryan told ESPNDallas.com after watching a Dallas Mavericks-Golden State Warriors game on Saturday night. "I knew they had to do something after an 8-8 season. They choose me to be the guy, sure."

Translation: Jerry Jones was looking for a scapegoat and I was his choice.

"Better coaches than me have been fired," Ryan said. "Just not many."

That Ryan is full of bluster (or something else) is nothing new. That said, it's easy to see his side in this case. The Cowboys' defense lost five starters to season-ending injuries, while his unit's best player -- linebacker DeMarcus Ware -- was a shell of himself due to wrist, elbow and shoulder problems. The unit finished 19th in overall defense and came within one win of a division title.

Ryan's personality can rub people the wrong way, and perhaps that played into his ouster from Dallas. But Ryan and his defense wasn't the reason the Cowboys couldn't get over the hump last season.

It remains to be seen if Jones' decision will be one he ultimately regrets.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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