Monday, November 11, 2013
Jones has second thoughts on Ryan firing
By Tim MacMahon
NEW ORLEANS – Jerry Jones admitted he's had second thoughts about the Dallas Cowboys' decision to change defensive coordinators this offseason.
How could that not be the case after watching the New Orleans Saints roll to a 49-17 rout Sunday night over the Cowboys?
The Saints defense, run by fired Cowboys coordinator Rob Ryan, was dominant, holding the Cowboys to 193 total yards. The Cowboys defense, coordinated by Monte Kiffin, allowed more than 600 yards for the second time in three weeks.
"We thought it was best for us to go in the direction that we are, and it doesn't look good right now," Jones said. "Hopefully we can make it look good, but I have all the feelings that you have when you want to look back at a decision, and I realize when some of them work you have to have a few things go along with it.
"Candidly, we're having some of the same things that Rob had last year. Frankly, to be fair to Rob, he lost a lot of guys on defense. We lost more this year. That's the game, though. That's what we play. That's the NFL."
The Cowboys' injury woes on defense got much worse with star linebacker Sean Lee suffering a hamstring strain, the severity of which will be determined by an MRI on Monday. Dallas also lost linebacker Justin Durant to a hamstring strain.
After those injuries, and with defensive tackle Jason Hatcher missing the game due to a severe stinger, the Cowboys had only four projected defensive starters from the preseason healthy enough to play. That includes defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who was less than 100 percent after missing three games due to a quadriceps strain.
Ryan's defense last year looked like a MASH unit, too. Several key players, such Lee, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, safety Barry Church, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Bruce Carter, ended up on injured reserve.
But the injuries weren't a good enough excuse to save Ryan's job, a decision Jones couldn't help but second guess as he left the Superdome after being blown out by the Saints.