Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Will Rob Ryan want Shaun Rogers reunion?

By Tim MacMahon

We don’t know whether Rob Ryan wants defensive lineman Shaun Rogers, who was released by the Browns on Wednesday, after coaching him the last two seasons in Cleveland.

But the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator is on record raving about Rogers’ talent.

"He is a tremendous physical specimen," Ryan said of Rogers in the summer of 2009. “He is so athletic for a big man. I've been around the best in football. I've been around Warren Sapp in college. I coached Jamal Williams and Kevin Williams, a couple of decent All-Pro defensive tackles. . . . Shaun Rogers is tremendous. Absolutely tremendous. Any system that he plays in, he is going to be dominant."

It isn’t too difficult to envision Rogers, a 6-foot-4, 350-pound three-time Pro Bowler, as a fit with Ryan’s new team. The Cowboys might have one of the most disruptive three-man lines in the league with Rogers at nose tackle and Jay Ratliff shifting to defensive end.

If Rogers comes at a reasonable cost, he could be a key part of a quick fix for a defense that fell apart last season, when the Cowboys allowed the second most points in the NFL.

But that’s only if Rogers plays up to his potential. And that was the bad rap University of Texas products get for being spoiled, lazy and unmotivated. (Well, him and a certain receiver the Cowboys gave up a draft bounty to get and gave a $9 million per year contract.)

Rogers, 31, is neither young nor healthy now. He was limited to less than 40 percent of Cleveland’s defensive snaps last season due to hip and ankle injuries.

However, a scout’s reaction when asked about Rogers was to state emphatically that he’s still a force. The idea of adding Rogers wasn’t summarily dismissed by another Valley Rancher.

What really matters is whether Ryan wants to coach Rogers again. We don’t know that. We just know he’ll at least be tempted by the big man’s massive talent.