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Ryan officially joins Cowboys' staff as defensive coordinator

DALLAS -- Rob Ryan officially is the Cowboys' new defensive coordinator.

Perfect fit in Dallas

Rob Ryan was a great hire by the Cowboys, who needed a strong personality with ties to the 3-4 defense to come into the fold,

Elliot Harrison writes. **More ...**

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The team announced Ryan's hiring in an e-mail Wednesday.

Ryan agreed last weekend to take the job after an extensive interview Friday with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and new head coach Jason Garrett.

Ryan is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and the twin brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The Cowboys are scheduled to play the Jets next season.

Rob Ryan spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, who fired coach Eric Mangini after the season. Ryan had interviewed for the Carolina Panthers' head-coaching job before San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera received the job.

Wade Phillips was head coach and defensive coordinator for the Cowboys until being fired midway through last season. Phillips has since become defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans.

Defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni was the Cowboys' defensive coordinator for the rest of the season after Phillips was fired. Pasqualoni left the Cowboys last week to become head coach at the University of Connecticut.

Ryan has coached in the NFL for 13 seasons, including five seasons as defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders (2004-08) before going to Cleveland.

Ryan's first NFL job was as a defensive backs coach for his father with the Arizona Cardinals in 1994 and 1995. He was the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots from 2000 to 2003, when he was part of two Super Bowl championship teams.

Ryan, 48, played college ball at Southwestern Oklahoma State, where he and his brother were defensive ends. They were on opposite sidelines in November, when Rex Ryan's Jets beat the Browns 26-20 in overtime.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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