When the Eagles were hunting Luis Zendejas like the Terminator hunted John Connor, it was awfully difficult to imagine any member of Buddy Ryan's family would ever cash a paycheck from Jerry Jones.
Times change, though, and present needs trump past grievances. That's why Rob Ryan will be heading to Dallas to interview with Jones and Jason Garrett for the team's defensive coordinator position. Ryan is still under contract with the Browns, but their decision to change directions and hire Pat Shurmur as head coach means that Ryan's free to seek out other employment.
We're in favor of him making his way to Dallas. The easiest argument in his favor is the fact that the defenses he's run in Oakland and Cleveland have been generally strong units that were consistently let down by stone age offenses. He's also worked under bright defensive minds belonging to his father and Bill Belichick and has been rumored as a head coaching candidate more than once.
We'll go deeper, though. The Ryan name is a pretty big vote in his favor for us. There's the defensive pedigree of his father and twin brother Rex, but that's almost a sideline to the entertainment factor they've provided over the years. Rex has changed the football landscape in New York and was fantastic as the star of "Hard Knocks," You may find him arrogant and may giggle about his fetish for the feet, but he wins games and has fun doing it.
Similarly, you may hate Buddy for those bygone years, but you know you never cared as much about beating the Eagles as you did when he was involved. He made football more interesting and made you care more about the game. That's never a bad thing, especially when the Cowboys wound up winning when it mattered back in those years.
Let's face it, Garrett may prove to be a terrific head coach but he's never going to be interesting. His style was a nice change from Wade Phillips, but full seasons of his hard work preaching and Princeton diction are going to grow tiresome pretty quickly. How great would it be to balance that with some Ryan-style action?
The big stumbling block could be Garrett's ego and memory. Is he going to want a plausible head coaching candidate next to him and, depending on how things play out, overshadowing him? He knows all too well the way Double J chases after every shiny object he comes across and would have to consider whether he'd be hiring a potential replacement by bringing Ryan to the Cowboys.
Let's hope he's a big enough man to take on that challenge because Ryan feels like a great fit in every possible way.
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