Buddy Ryan's impact on Cowboys' defense

January, 17, 2011
1/17/11
4:20
PM ET
I would imagine that Dallas Cowboys fans had to enjoy the way Rex Ryan's Jets defense performed against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday. Rex's twin brother, Rob, will now take over as defensive coordinator for the Cowboys, and he has a very similar philosophy.

But everything you see from the Ryan boys can be traced to their father Buddy's famous "46" defense, which he drew up on a whim while with the Chicago Bears in the late 1970s. I ran across an excerpt from Tim Layden's excellent book, "Blood, Sweat and Chalk" today, and it talks about how Buddy taught Rex and Rob the 46 defense when he wasn't able to talk them out of following him into the coaching profession.

Rex and Rob have added their own touches to the defense, but it's obvious they've leaned heavily on their father's creative genius. You'll hear a lot more from Rex and Buddy in this excerpt, but Rob gets right to the point with the following quote:

"The more you hit the quarterback," Rob says, "the better you're going to do."

And that certainly was the case Sunday when Jets defenders frustrated and confused the great Brady. I don't think Rob will be quite as quotable as his twin brother and father, but he'll still bring a lot of energy and passion to the Cowboys' defense.

So what will Buddy Ryan think about one of his boys helping out the team he once loathed? Well, as long as Jimmy Johnson doesn't show up on the scene, I think he'll find a way to deal with it.

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