Blog Entry

Garrett: Rob Ryan is 'worthy' of being head coach

Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:34 pm
Rob Ryan's stock took a hit with Dallas' recent performance. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

After the way the Cowboys (and the Cowboys defense, in particular) played Sunday night against the Giants, it would be fair to say that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan didn't do much to boost his stock as head-coaching material in 2012.

When the Jaguars fired Jack Del Rio in November, Ryan made our early list of possible replacements. But in the five weeks since, the Cowboys have gone 1-4, including three NFC East losses as well as the debacle in the valley of the sun. The losses weren't entirely his fault, but it's not like the defense played lights-out, either.

According to Football Outsiders' metrics, Dallas' defense ranked 16th overall (19th against the pass, 8th against the run). It's the definition of mediocrity, but given Ryan's pedigree -- not to mention his loquaciousness -- it's wholly underwhelming. And it's why we'd expect teams in need of a head coach to look elsewhere. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if Ryan was relieved of his duties in Dallas, although that doesn't look like it'll happen (he signed a multi-year deal last season).

On Monday, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (his job's safe too, says owner Jerry Jones) was asked about the possibility of Ryan landing a head-coaching gig.

"Well, if Rob has an opportunity to go be a head coach somewhere, I think that’s a great thing for Rob, and we certainly would encourage that," Garrett said via

You almost get the impression that Garrett would welcome the opportunity to fill Ryan's job.

"I think he’s worthy of being a head coach in this league," he continued. "I think he does an outstanding job as a coordinator, he’s an excellent leader, he’s an excellent coach, and we would encourage that for him. I think it’s a great opportunity for him. I think that’s part of the process. You allow for that to happen if that opportunity does exist, and then we would have to obviously replace him and make some decisions of our own. But, we certainly love having him as our coordinator, and we’re excited about our opportunity to grow in that area for next year."'s Calvin Watkins adds that if Ryan somehow manages to land a job as an NFL head coach, "linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, whom Ryan called his right-hand man, could get elevated to coordinator. Eberflus could also leave to become Ryan's defensive coordinator/assistant head coach should he get a head coaching position."

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Since: May 5, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:58 pm

Garrett: Rob Ryan is 'worthy' of being head coach

I would encourage it to the way this defense played. 

Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:49 pm

Garrett: Rob Ryan is 'worthy' of being head coach

Whatever gets him off the Cowboys sideline works for me.

Since: May 31, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:38 pm

Garrett: Rob Ryan is 'worthy' of being head coach

A loud-mouthed self promoter like his brother (and father).  Brother Rex gets credit for being "great" defensive coach but Baltimore didn't need him (defense has been great because of players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, without Rex) and Jets supposedly great defense has great player (Revis) and is otherwise average.  This guy talks like Rex but defense he coaches is among worst in the league - why would anybody want him?  At least his brother grooms himself.    &nb

Since: Jun 4, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:13 pm

Garrett: Rob Ryan is 'worthy' of being head coach

You almost get the impression that Garrett would welcome the opportunity to fill Ryan's job.

I am always cautious when you call a colleague someone else for a reference about a person currently working for them and you get a glowing review.  If they are valuable to that organization and have a future, usually you get the regular platitudes (because they don't really want to lose that person but they don't want to give impression they employee an idiot).  If they want to convince you to take on a headache (or potentially to move out a potential rival for their job) they are more than happy to praise that person.  Garrett may have a chance to do both -- Ryan is likely a headache (getting more press than the head coach) and a potential replacement from within (should Jones decide to move Garrett out at some point next season). 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or