When Tuesday, January 8, 2013 began, it seemed like the only Ryan in danger of losing his job in the NFL was Rex (and maybe Fitzpatrick, but for our purposes I don’t think that counts). Lo and behold, it was Rex’s twin brother Rob who did not maintain employment through the end of the day, as he has reportedly been fired as defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.
A few sources have been dancing around Twitter Tuesday evening, and we can assume with fair certainty that Ryan is getting the axe after only two seasons of running the defense in Big D.
Sources: Cowboys have fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2013
Cowboys are parting ways with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. A big change they alluded to!
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 9, 2013
As @briancoz and ESPN Dallas report, Cowboys have fired DC Rob Ryan.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2013
The Ryan family tree has a much vaunted defensive background, but Rob has been a defensive coordinator in the NFL since 2004 and has not once guided a team to the playoffs. The cards were stacked in his favor when Dallas hired him in 2011 — DeMarcus Ware headlined the best defense he was about to ever coach — but the most his defense could muster was 14th in yards allowed and 16th in points allowed.
His secondary was in need of dire help, and got it through the signing of Brandon Carr and drafting of Morris Claiborne. However, his defense once again finished 14th in the league in yards allowed and dropped to 23rd in points allowed. The Cowboys missed the playoffs both years, and if that isn’t cause for Lord Jerry to drop the axe, you just tell me what is.
Funny thing is, Rob Ryan wasn’t even the Ryan sitting on the hottest seat when the day began. Sure, the Cowboys intimated that changes were coming, but in the short term, all eyes were glued to a (not all that) telling press conference held by Jets owner Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan, one that had New York media speculating about Ryan’s potential demise. Instead, Rex was retained by the Jets, despite the much frowned upon scenario of a team bringing on a new GM without giving said GM ability to hire his own coaching staff.
But back in Big D, Rex’s twinsie met his own demise, proving that this is in fact the worst sibling rivalry ever.