Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan knows what to expect when he faces off against Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan on Sunday.
“He’s going to run a stretch play, he’s going to run his boots,” Ryan told reporters this week. “We don’t know what formation or what personnel groups they’re coming from, but they’re coming.”
And there’s a reason Ryan is so familiar with Shanahan’s tactics. Ryan served as the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders from 2004 to 2008, which coincided with Shanahan’s final five seasons as head coach of the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
During that span, the Raiders and Broncos faced each other 10 times, with the Broncos posting a 7-3 record while averaging more than 23 points per game.
Despite that less-than-stellar track record, Ryan’s confidence was evidently heightened by his defense’s Week 3 performance against Shanahan’s Redskins this season. The Cowboys held the Skins to 16 points and less than 300 yards of offense, including 65 on the ground.
“They always have a great plan, they always give their team a chance, and that’s what we’re doing here on defense. We’re looking forward to that matchup,” Ryan said. “Shanahan, like I said, used to punk me. He doesn’t anymore.”