DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWN: Dallas Cowboys felt that Ryan’s schemes and philosophy were inconsistent

Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talks to Cleveland Browns punter Reggie Hodges and Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones promised last week that he would consult outside counsel on his team before making decisions on the future.

The reviews of now-fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan weren’t good, despite him having to play with an injury-riddled unit.

The Cowboys found that his schemes and philosophy at times were unsound. They also felt he was inconsistent in his attack, considering he blitzed too much in his first season and got burned because of poor play in the secondary. The Cowboys gave up 3,906 passing yards in 2011, the second-most allowed in team history.

They made moves in the off-season to upgrade the personnel, namely the addition of cover corners Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. They sought to improve the pass defense, so Ryan could play his aggressive style.

Yet, Ryan rarely blitzed and chose to play conservatively in 2012 as opponents averaged 355.4 yards per game, the most in team history The Cowboys allowed an average of 22.4 points per game. They had 34 sacks, seven interceptions and nine forced fumbles. The 16 turnovers were a franchise low.

A few of names to keep in mind as possible replacements for Ryan are Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who has experienced running the 3-4 and 4-3 defense, former Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, a 3-4 guru, and former Bears coach Lovie Smith, who is a 4-3 coach.

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