Dallas Cowboys: Rex Ryan

5 Wonders: Rob Ryan's head coaching future

October, 30, 2012
IRVING, Texas – The NFL moved the trade deadline back to Thursday because of Hurricane Sandy, but I don’t wonder if that will help the Cowboys make a move.

Here are some things I am wondering about in our weekly Five Wonders’ post:

** It’s no secret Rob Ryan wants to be a head coach. It’s part of the reason why he came to Dallas. He was on some lists last year until the Cowboys cratered in December and missed the playoffs. I wonder if he is getting back on some lists this year with the way the defense has performed. Of the opponents’ 162 points, 78 can be attributed to turnovers or mistakes by the offense and special teams. The defense has done a nice job in sudden-change situations, limiting the opponent to field goals. That’s the only way the Cowboys were actually able to come back Sunday against the New York Giants. In a passing league, the Cowboys are No. 3 against the pass and have done two great jobs vs. Eli Manning. They have a huge test this week in Matt Ryan. If the defense continues this way, then Ryan’s name will be mentioned when jobs open following the season. But here’s a bonus wonder: I wonder if how Rex Ryan’s New York Jets have fallen apart will impact Rob’s campaign.

** I wonder why the Cowboys run the ball. OK, I don’t think they should not run the ball at all, but it’s clear the only way they can run it is if they face a bad Baltimore run defense that does not move guys around so the runners can pick and choose their way. In the last two games they have picked up 104 yards on 48 carries. You have to admire the pluck, but if you’re averaging 2.2 yards a carry, why bang your head into the wall so much. I laughed when I heard people question why the Cowboys only had 15 run plays against New York. Well, the score was one thing and the 1.3 yard per carry average by Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner was another. Could the Cowboys have run the ball on second- or third-and-1 on their final drive? Sure. The Giants showed a six-man box. It was there to pick up a yard, but with how the game was going and how successful they were passing I didn’t think they were wrong. Where I think they were wrong was in the called pass play on third down. Jason Witten was doubled and taken out of it by New York, leaving Tony Romo to throw to Kevin Ogletree on a fade. It’s not a high percentage throw and it’s going to a receiver that even the coach has questioned his consistency. It was a half-field read on third down from what I was told. It goes to Witten or Ogletree. If that’s the case, then put Miles Austin or Dez Bryant next to Witten to make it more difficult for New York to double the tight end. But back to the main point on the running game: Felix Jones has a bruised knee and whatever flicker he had against Baltimore it’s not there now. Tanner has better contact balance. Lance Dunbar has more speed. If you’re going to run it, give it to those guys while DeMarco Murray is out.

** I wonder if this is the beginning of the Morris Claiborne the Cowboys wanted when they moved up to the No. 6 pick to get him in April. Claiborne had his best game of the season against the Giants. He was much more aggressive at the line than he had been. He was a surer tackler. He looked a lot more comfortable. Maybe that’s from seeing an offense for a second time. He also added a fumble recovery a week after having his first interception at Carolina. What’s funny is that the Panthers’ game might have been Claiborne’s worst even if he had the turnover. He was too laid back in that game. He was the opposite against the Giants. He’ll have to be that way again Sunday at Atlanta with Julio Jones and Roddy White on the other side of the field.

** I wonder how the punt return team can be so mediocre and the punt coverage team can be so great. Have you seen the numbers? The Cowboys are averaging 5.5 yards per punt return so far this year and that includes a 44-yard return by Dez Bryant against Tampa Bay that the Buccaneers gifted the Cowboys. Take away that return and the Cowboys are averaging 2.8 yards per return, which is about on par with their average rushing carry (3.6). The punt coverage has been outstanding, allowing only 3.2 yards per return with a long of 9 on the season. Chris Jones and Moorman have done a great job of angling their punts to the sidelines and 13 of their 23 punts have ended up inside the 20. The Cowboys would be wise to keep Bryant off the punt returns or just let him do it when the opponent is kicking out of their end zone. Let Dwayne Harris or Cole Beasley be punt catchers if not punt returners.

** At some point when Charlie Peprah plays, you should believe he will do something to help the Cowboys. That just seems to be what happens when the Cowboys sign a guy off the street here lately. Last year the Cowboys added Montrae Holland, Laurent Robinson, Tony Fiammetta, Frank Walker and Sammy Morris, who made plays to contribute to wins. So far this season the Cowboys have added Moorman, Eric Frampton and Ernie Sims off the street and they have made some big plays. Sims was a Cowboy for five days when he made his debut and had a pass breakup and a pressure. He also helped stop the Giants’ final play to set up the Cowboys’ final drive. Finding players to contribute at this time of year is extremely hard but the Cowboys’ pro department has been able to find some good pieces.
IRVING, Texas –- Rob Ryan agrees with the New York media: His twin brother Rex is “full of [expletive].”

That was Rob’s initial response to Rex’s public claim that the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator was crying on the phone about the loss of linebacker Sean Lee to a season-ending toe injury.

“It’s the worst part of the game, but I wasn’t crying tears, actual tears,” Ryan said Friday at Valley Ranch. “I save that for the movies I watch with my wife. You know, Lifetime.

“My god, you guys ever watch Lifetime? Jesus, god almighty. Don’t. Trust me, don’t.”

Then again, if there’s a player worthy crying over, it might be an inside linebacker who calls the defensive signals and leads the Cowboys with 77 tackles and an interception.

“Absolutely,” said Ryan, who refers to Lee as the best middle linebacker in football. “No question, and I probably should have cried.”

Ryan readily admits that he did call his twin, the New York Jets’ head coach, to complain about all the injuries that have hit the Cowboys’ defense. The Cowboys also lost strong safety Barry Church (Achilles tendon) for the season, and other starters who have missed games include nose tackle Jay Ratliff, outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, defensive end Kenyon Coleman and free safety Gerald Sensabaugh.

“Was I bitching to him? Sure,” Ryan said. “We have so many damn injuries. Of course I was bitching to my twin brother. We’ve only had like two guys not get hurt this year on defense, which is crazy, so I was bitching to him. He did talk me off the plank. Football hardens you. Injuries are part of it.”

But there’s no crying in football, at least not from the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, no matter what his twin brother tells the New York media.
OXNARD, Calif. -- This is the season we find out whether the Dallas Cowboys' Rob Ryan should be considered among the NFL's best defensive coordinators or whether he's been living off the reputation of his daddy and his brother.

Buddy Ryan, the architect of the 1985 Chicago Bears' defense -- one of the best in NFL history -- created the 46 defense. You can't discuss the history of the NFL without mentioning his name.

And New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is widely considered one of the best defensive minds in the game based on his work with the Baltimore Ravens and the Jets.

Rob Ryan certainly has their bluster. And swag. And oratory skills. He can only wish he had their resume.

In eight seasons as a defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Cowboys, Ryan has had one unit -- the 2006 Raiders -- finish among the NFL's top 10. The rest have ranked between 14th and 31st in yards allowed. None of his defenses has ever allowed less than 20.8 points.

Read the full story here.

Remember Rob Ryan's harsh take on Tim Tebow?

March, 21, 2012
Rex Ryan apparently didn't ask for his twin brother's advice before the New York Jets pulled the trigger on a trade for Tim Tebow.

Rob Ryan wasn't real impressed with Tebow this season, to put it politely. Of course, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator didn't put it so politely the day after he watched a Tebow-led comeback beat his brother's Jets, saying he was disgusted by watching such a gimmicky offense in the NFL.

“It made me, uh, throw up,” Ryan said, pausing mid-sentence to make a vomiting motion. “That stuff comes into play. You get that crap. I don’t like it because it’s college football. The things you see [is] a lot of spread. We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets.

“Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”

Ryan was reminded that Tebow's team did win. The Broncos beat the Jets, 17-13, despite generating only 229 yards of total offense after Tebow and Co. marched 95 yards for the winning score, a 20-yard touchdown run by the passing-challenged quarterback.

“That team did win last night, but it was horse----, and thanks for pointing that out,” Ryan replied. “The guy made a hell of a play, though, didn’t he?

“Just a second, I’ll take a knee myself.”

Don't know if Rex Ryan will take a knee -- "Tebowing," as the prayerful pose became known -- but his Jets are taking a chance on Tebow, which could make for some interesting conversation at family functions this offseason.

Opposing voice: Eli Manning

December, 31, 2011

IRVING, Texas -- New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning is not entering Sunday’s game against the Cowboys on much of a roll.

In a 23-10 loss to Washington at MetLife Stadium, he was intercepted three times. In last week’s win against the Jets, he completed only 9 of 27 passes for 225 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“It can improve,” Manning said of his recent play, “and I’ll need to play better this week.”

Seeing a Ryan-led defense for the second straight week might help. Whole Rob Ryan’s Cowboys defense was unable to sack Manning on Dec. 11, Rex Ryan’ Jets defense was able to drop him twice.

“There definitely are some similarities,” said Manning, who threw for 400 yards in his first game vs. Dallas “They’re both trying to get pressure on the quarterback. That’s the goal, try to confuse and show a lot of different looks.”

But the Cowboys’ secondary does not possess a Darrelle Revis. In fact, Manning was able to beat every Cowboys cornerback in the first meeting for big completions.

“Most of the time you’re going off your reads,” Manning said. “Sometimes there are certain matchups you like better than others and that can be a factor, but you’re trying to make your reads and go to the right place.”

Rob Ryan has no grudge against Brandon Jacobs

December, 30, 2011

IRVING, Texas – Rob Ryan swears that bears no ill will toward Brandon Jacobs despite the Giants running back’s rather rude postgame conversation with the Dallas defensive coordinator’s twin brother.

Jacobs and Jets head coach Rex Ryan had a heated, face-to-face discussion after the Giants’ win over their New York rivals last week. It reportedly started with Jacobs telling the guarantee-happy Jets coach, “Time to shut up, fat boy.”

A couple of days before the Cowboys and Giants play for the NFC East title, Rob Ryan basically shrugged when asked about the confrontation. He’s much more concerned with figuring out how to stop Jacobs, who had his lone 100-yard game of the season in the Giants’ Dec. 11 win at Cowboys Stadium, than sticking up for his brother.

“I’m sure it wasn’t just a one-sided thing,” Rob Ryan said. “I don’t want to talk about it. I have great respect for both of them. Obviously blood on one of them with Rex. But this Jacobs kid ran for [101] yards on us. He is a grown man. I look at him. He is gigantic. He has great size and things.

“Let’s be honest those are two guys that love their team, that love who they are. They’re vocal leaders of their groups. Sometimes people bang heads. That is life. I’m sure you guys have your altercations too.”

Ryan found the thought of a family grudge against Jacobs humorous, as if anybody needed additional motivation with the division title and NFC’s final playoff berth on the line.

“Hell, this is a championship game, guys,” Ryan said. “You think that kid is losing any sleep over that incident? Hell, no, he’s looking to take on us, trying to beat us.”

Eagles have had Cowboys number in December

December, 19, 2011

IRVING, Texas -- Philadelphia has failed to meet the “dream team” expectations many had for it when the season started, but the Eagles are not dead.

Drew Pearson talks about how much these Cowboys need to lean on each other to survive a run through the postseason.

Listen Listen
They will come to Cowboys Stadium on Saturday with real playoff hopes, even at 6-8.

If Philadelphia wins its last two games and the New York Giants lose to the Jets and beat the Cowboys, then the Eagles will win the NFC East.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Eagles punished Rex Ryan’s New York Jets on Sunday, 45-19, for their second straight win. They tore apart the Jets the way they tore apart the Cowboys and Rob Ryan’s defense on Oct. 30 at Lincoln Financial Field.

And there’s this: Andy Reid has lost only once to the Cowboys in December in seven games as Philadelphia's head coach. That came in 1999, his first year. Since then the Eagles’ six victories have been by an average margin of 17 points. Reid has a 37-15 record in December as a head coach.


But the calendar means nothing, as Jason Garrett has reminded us, so let's point out the fact that the Cowboys have beat the Eagles in their last two rematches. They shut out Philadelphia, 24-0, in 2009 and won at Lincoln Financial Field last season, 14-13, in January regular-season games.

Rob Ryan: Broncos' offense made me 'throw up'

November, 18, 2011
IRVING, Texas – Give Rob Ryan credit for avoiding any inflammatory statements the teams on the Dallas Cowboys’ schedule. That could be considered progress.

But if the Denver and Dallas somehow advance to the Super Bowl, Ryan has provided plenty of material for the Broncos’ bulletin board.

Ryan watched the Broncos’ 17-13 win over the New York Jets on Thursday night. He didn’t enjoy the game, and not just because his twin brother Rex was the losing head coach. It pains Ryan to watch polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow run (and run and run some more) an unconventional offense.

“It made me, uh, throw up,” Ryan said, pausing mid-sentence to make a vomiting motion. “That stuff comes into play. You get that crap. I don’t like it because it’s college football. The things you see a lot of spread. We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets.

“Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”

Well, actually, that team won Thursday night. The Broncos, who are 4-1 with passing-challenged Tebow as the starter this season, finished with only 229 total yards. However, 95 of those came on the game-winning drive, which Tebow capped with a 20-yard touchdown run.

“That team did win last night, but it was horse----, and thanks for pointing that out,” Ryan replied when reminded that the Broncos were victorious. “The guy made a hell of a play, though, didn’t he?

“Just a second, I’ll take a knee myself.”

Yes, that was Ryan joking about “Tebowing,” the devoutly religious quarterback’s prayerful pose that has replaced planking as the nation’s new fad.

But Ryan, whose comments about the “all-hype” Philadelphia Eagles and the Cowboys having two receivers better than Detroit’s Calvin Johnson received a lot of attention this season, was completely serious on the subject of the Broncos’ butt-ugly offense.

“They’re back there getting the hell beat out of them the whole game,” Ryan said when asked why he considered the Denver offense to be horse excrement. “It’s unfortunate the kid threw the interception for the TD or I really think that game is going to go a different way.

“But I don’t care about that game. I only care about us. I don’t like to see my brother hurt after a game, that sucked, but that’s the way it is.”

Rex Ryan responds to Rob Ryan

November, 4, 2011
IRVING -- The Ryan brothers are at it again.

Prior to the Cowboys-Eagles game, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan did an interview with NBC's Al Michaels and said he would be a better head coach than his twin brother, Rex, who coaches the New York Jets.

Michaels asked Rob Ryan when he goes on head coaching interviews does it help or hurt him that Rex is his brother?

"Well I am his twin brother, I'm sure it can't hurt," Ryan said. "I know he's one of the more recognizable head coaches in football this year and things like that, but he's also gone to two AFC championship games in a row and I don't think anybody else can say that. He's had an opportunity and he's done great with it. I'll be better than him, so I'll get my chance."

On Thursday, Rex Ryan responded by saying: "Hopefully one day we get to find out. I hope he does get the opportunity to be a head coach. Rob is a great coach, and he certainly wants that opportunity, as every coach in this league wants that opportunity. But you know what, at the end of the day, he's not going to be quite as good as his brother."

"I don't know, because all I'm doing is basing it on facts. When we were kids, my batting average was a little higher than his, okay. The only thing he's got on me is probably test scores, academic test score, but other than that, from an athletic standpoint or something like that, I think I've always been able to be just a little bit better. But I hope he gets that opportunity. I'm sure he'll be a great head coach, I really do. "

Rob Ryan: Sorry Norv, but Rex has 'ring envy'

October, 21, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Sorry, Norv Turner. You got caught in the crossfire of the Ryan family rivalry.

That's how Rob Ryan perceived twin brother Rex's comments that sparked a little coast-to-coast back-and-forth between the head coaches of the Jets and Chargers.

Rex Ryan answered a question from San Diego reporters on a conference call by saying he thought he'd have a "couple of rings" if the Chargers had hired him when he interviewed for the job. Turner retorted by wondering whether he Ryan "had those rings with the ones he's guaranteed the last couple of years."

All of which was pretty entertaining for the man who loves taunting Rex about rings. Rob owns a couple of Super Bowl rings from his tenure as the Patriots' linebackers coach, while Rex earned one as the Ravens' defensive coordinator.

"Let me tell you something, that whole comment there is about multiplicity," Rob Ryan said. "When it comes down to it, it’s multiplicity. Rex is constantly using that multiple ring thing, multiple ring this, multiple ring that, multiple ring this.

"The simple fact is it had nothing to do with Norv Turner and I coached with Norv. Norv is a great coach and a good man. He’s done obviously a great job in San Diego. The multiplicity thing is really ring envy. It’s ring envy. His twin brother has two rings, his dad [Buddy] has three rings, he only has one, so you can see the multiplicity thing. It’s all, I want multiple rings.

"He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. He only has one ring. It’s hard to say, and the whole thing is, it’s embarrassing, because it’s all about the family, it’s a sibling rivalry and Norv got in the way of a sibling rivalry."

Rob Ryan gets over loss to Jets

September, 16, 2011

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan wasn't a happy man after the Week 1 loss to the New York Jets last Sunday night.

It was an emotional game for Ryan, who was going up against his twin brother, Rex, who coaches the Jets. He also had his father, Buddy, in a suite watching the game at MetLife Stadium.

And of course, there was the game, where Ryan lost both his starting cornerbacks, only to have Mike Jenkins return in the fourth quarter.

"Honestly, or coach speak?" Rob Ryan responded to when he got over the loss. "Coach speak Monday, honestly probably Thursday. But we’re ready to go. We got a nice plan for these guys."

These guys are the San Francisco 49ers, who are 1-0, after an impressive victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the season opener. But Rob Ryan had to get over the loss to the Jets, and he tried badly. He told his players he hates watching film Mondays because it just brings up the game again.

Then his brother, Rex, made a phone call to rub things in.

"He left really unflattering messages," Rob Ryan said. "But it's to be expected and its coming back to him one of these days. No compassion there at all."

When asked was the message R or X rated, Rob Ryan said, "I don’t even what to say, hell there was no PG thing about him, it was R or worse."

Scout's Eye: Cowboys-Jets preview

September, 9, 2011
It’s never easy to open on the road in the NFL, and the league did the Cowboys no favors by sending them to New York to face a squad that has played in the AFC Championship game the last two seasons.

There is no doubt that the Jets are a talented team on both sides of the ball. Here are some things to watch this weekend:

Scout's Eye
*A big pressure point for the Cowboys offense this week against the Jets will be how guards Bill Nagy and Kyle Kosier along with center Phil Costa handle nose man Sione Pouha and tackle Mike DeVito. I know that Pouha and Devito are not household names, but when you study the games of both of these defensive linemen, you come away with a respect for what they mean to this defense.

Pouha is an active load in the middle at 325 pounds. He is a big man that plays very light on his feet. Pouha has tremendous upper body strength and can be difficult to move at the point of attack. It is surprising to watch a man of that size move down the line controlling offensive linemen, shedding blocks and making tackles.

DeVito lines up as a three technique on the outside shoulder of the guards and he can be disruptive in the way that he attacks his gap. Pouha is more about holding the point; Devito tries to create problems in the offense’s blocking scheme through penetration.

If Pouha and Devito have a weakness, it is that they don’t show outstanding technique as pass rushers. But the Cowboys have to be careful handling the push in the front of the pocket that the Jets’ interior duo can get.

Of the inside players for the Cowboys, Costa is more of a leverage player than Nagy, who will at times struggle with players that try to walk him straight back. With Kosier, there is less strength, but more smarts and technique than pure power.

In the running game, it will be the responsibility of Costa, Nagy and Kosier to secure the down guys first, then work up to the second level to handle linebackers David Harris and Bart Scott.

If there was a positive area about the Cowboys in the preseason, it was the club’s ability to run the football with Felix Jones in this scheme. The Cowboys should have a chance to run the ball in this game if they do not allow Pouha, DeVito and first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson to control the front because linebackers Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas on the edge will get tied up on blocks and don’t always hold up strength wise like they need to.

If the Cowboys can manage to control the middle of this Jets defense, the offensive game plan has a better chance to succeed both run and pass.

*Going into to this game against the Jets, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his staff will need to find a game plan that will limit the Jets in their ability to run the football.

During the preseason, the Cowboys did a poor job of handling the run and the way that the Jets are set up, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer likes to run the ball to set up other opportunities for easy throws in the passing game on boots and waggles. If the Cowboys can find a way to play ahead of the chains and force the Jets into passing the ball, it will play right into Ryan’s hands, allowing him to focus on bringing pressure.

If the Jets have to pass often, I look for Ryan to try and put a great deal of pressure on quarterback Mark Sanchez to see if he can force him into some mistakes or more importantly create some turnovers in this game. When watching Sanchez play, the first thing you notice is that he will throw the ball into coverage regardless of whether the receiver is open. Sanchez is going to make that throw because he has the faith that his receivers will come down with the ball.

Something I also noticed about Sanchez’s game is that he isn’t always accurate with his passes. I was surprised by the number of times his receivers were open but he made them work for the ball. These receivers do a great job of adjusting to the ball and bailing him out when the pass is not perfect or off target.

In studying Sanchez, I am sure that Ryan was preaching to his front seven to get their hands up when rushing because Sanchez has a tendency to get his passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage. It was shocking to see the number of passes that were knocked down or tipped at the line.

Sanchez also doesn’t throw the ball down the field much. There are quarterbacks in this league that you study that are always trying to work the ball down the field. Sanchez isn’t one of those guys. I went back to check his numbers from last season and his yards per attempt were at 6.5, which was low for a team that made the playffs.

An area that I was impressed with of Sanchez as a quarterback was his ability to move in the pocket and avoid the rush. There were times where tackles D’Brickashaw Ferguson or Wayne Hunter would get beat to the edge and he would find a way to duck or dodge the rush and get rid of the ball.

If the Cowboys are going to have success defensively against the Jets, it’s going to have to be controlling the Jets running the football. If they are able to do that, it will set up opportunities for pressure in the passing game and force Sanchez into situations where he has had his struggles.

*One of the adjustments for the way in which the Jets play their defensive scheme is to take cornerback Darrelle Revis and put him on the opponent’s best receiver. The question in Cowboys staff meetings was who will Revis take in coverage, Miles Austin or Dez Bryant?

It will take the Cowboys a series or two to figure out what direction the Jets might go with Revis. The Jets love to play press man coverage, so look for the Cowboys to try and get them out of that coverage as quickly as possible.

One way to do this is to get into a bunch formation with three wide receivers and scatter at the snap, getting into their routes as quickly as possible. If the Jets try to play man coverage out of this look, it will cause them to potentially get confused or lose their men in coverage, creating an opportunity for a successful play.

The Cowboys know they can’t line up in regular formations and feel like they can throw the ball against this secondary. The Jets have three corners that can cover in man, so look for Jason Garrett to try and dictate when and how often they play it.

Rex has confidence in Rob Ryan, Jason Garrett

September, 7, 2011
IRVING -- When the Cowboys hired Rob Ryan to become the defensive coordinator this spring the biggest issue was how would his personality go with head coach Jason Garrett.

Garrett, Ivy league bred, is a steady and firm influence, who believes in consistency, he wears the same colors to practice every day.

Rob Ryan has long gray hair with a goatee, who is from Southwestern Oklahoma State, and isn't guarded with his comments about anything.

Rex Ryan, the twin brother of Rob, who coaches the New York Jets doesn't think the two would have any issues.

"It's going to work," Rex Ryan said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday morning. "Jason wants to win. I remember when he came to interview for the Ravens job I met him. He is an impressive guy, obviously had that job offered to him and the Falcons job offered to him, the two jobs I was going for."

When Rob Ryan called the Eagles the "all-hype" team during training camp, it did create a stir and it prompted the defensive coordinator to avoid speaking about the issue after the stories came out. Garrett downplayed Ryan's comments and if he was upset he handled it in private.

Rex Ryan: I'd be nervous about young O-line

September, 7, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- Would Rex Ryan be worried about breaking in three inexperienced starters on the offensive line?

“Against our defense, I’d be nervous. There’s no question,” the Jets coach said during a conference call with Valley Ranch media.

The Cowboys hope second-year center Phil Costa, who is recovering from a sprained knee, will be ready to join first-round tackle Tyron Smith and seventh-round left guard Bill Nagy in the starting lineup against the Jets. The hope is that facing Rob Ryan’s defense every day for the last six weeks will help prevent the kids up front from being overwhelmed by Rex’s scheme Sunday night.

“From what I understand, it’s similar to our defense,” Smith said. “Our defense has helped prepare us for anything they’re going to throw at us.”

That’s not quite the way Rex sees the situation.

No tattoo for Rob Ryan

August, 8, 2011
SAN ANTONIO -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has a new tattoo on his right leg.

"It's a mountain, some waves and some sharks," Ryan said of the tat covering his calf. Later he said, "It's funny. Like, I hear it's a mid-life crisis. It's mid-life all right."

What about Rex Ryan's twin brother, Cowboys defensive coordinator, Rob, getting one?

Asked about where his tattoo is, Ryan said, "I'm a leader not a follower."