While watching the Dallas Mavericks rout the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center, former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordintator Rob Ryan said he was "a little shocked" by his firing last month.
Speaking to ESPN Dallas' Calvin Watkins, the newly hired defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints said he expected some shake-up following yet another disappointing 8-8 season in Dallas, but he was a little surprised to find himself on the chopping block.
"Oh yeah, look, I was a little shocked," said Ryan. "I knew they had to do something after an 8-8 season. They choose me to be the guy, sure."
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The firing came after the Ryan-led Dallas defense finished 19th in the league but dealt with numerous injuries to key players such as Orlando Scandrick, Sean Lee, Jay Ratliff, Bruce Carter and DeMarcus Ware. Owner Jerry Jones let it be known that the Cowboys should have overcome those injuries like most teams do, which in theory is true, but those were some pretty serious blows to the unit.
The move was followed by the Cowboys hiring 72-year-old defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, the inventor of the famed "Tampa-2" defense and the team will shift from its 3-4 front back to a 4-3, a move that has been met by varied reactions.
Ryan said he doesn't wish any ill will on the Cowboys and enjoyed working with head coach Jason Garrett.
"Who knows what they're going to do," Ryan said. "I'm good with whatever. I'm going to miss the players, they gave me great effort and they played hard. It's unfortunate we got a little banged up, but I appreciate the great effort they gave me for two years. [I] loved working with Jason and those guys. I wish them the best, except against us."