Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/15/13
IRVING, Texas The TV cameras always knew where to find Rob Ryan because he wouldn't have it any other way. The former Cowboys defensive coordinator seemed bitter that his twin brother, Rex, beat him to the punch in becoming a head coach in the NFL. He believed that becoming defensive coordinator for the Cowboys would finally provide the appropriate platform for a man with such a famous bloodline. But one thing that undermined his stay in Dallas was the fact that no one had a clue what he was trying to accomplish on defense. During his two seasons, the Cowboys were often penalized for not having the correct number of players on the field. His boorish behavior on the sideline only reinforced the utter lack of discipline. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had hoped Ryan's fiery demeanor would complement Jason Garrett's placid approach, but the Ryan boys have never been good at sharing a stage. The only time Ryan's defense showed a shred of consistency was when several players were lost to injury last season and he was forced to simplify his approach. Jones fired Ryan soon after the Cowboys missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season. With the help of his old pal Larry Lacewell, Jerry became convinced that it was time to return to a 4-3 scheme that had been used before Bill Parcells showed up on the scene. The first choice would've been Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, but he was still under contract. Jones turned to the man widely credited for inventing the famed "Tampa 2" defense, Monte Kiffin. The 73-year-old Kiffin had been on a sabbatical from the NFL while serving under his feckless son, Lane, at Tennessee and USC. He'd been a brilliant defensive mind at Nebraska and of course with the Bucs, but things weren't working out with the Trojans. The Cowboys hired Kiffin and his former defensive line coach Tampa Bay, Rod Marinelli. Hiring Marinelli was a coup for the Cowboys because of what he'd been able to accomplish as defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears. Unlike Rob Ryan, neither Kiffin nor Marinelli aspire to become head coaches again. They are also football lifers who don't have any interest in retirement. At last weekend's rookie minicamp, Marinelli was the most vocal coach on the field by a long shot. He was the architect of a defense in Chicago that excelled in takeaways, something that has been lacking for years with the Cowboys. Jerry believes that landing Kiffin and Marinelli is the equivalent to bringing in a big-ticket player in free agency. And for once, I think he's onto something. Former Jets and Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, who worked with both men in Tampa, believes Marinelli will have an enormous impact on the Cowboys. "I had the privilege of working with Rod. We were all together in Tampa. You think I got passion? He's got a lot of passion there," Edwards told ESPN 103.3 this week. "One thing those guys are going to learn being coached by Rod Marinelli, you are going to give effort. If you're not, you're not going to play. It's going to be harder for those guys to realize this: he is going to punish them more in practice than they'll ever be punished in a game. If they can just make it through practice, trust me, on Sunday they're going to enjoy the walk in the park." Ryan will take his act to New Orleans, where he'll join head coach Sean Payton. Perhaps he'll put his ego aside and focus on being a solid assistant instead of a riverboat gambler, but I wouldn't bet on it. The Cowboys have replaced him with two men who value substance over style. "He's the perfect combination of, not dumbing it down, but getting us at the right level of the playbook," Jones told reporters during the recent rookie camp. "Having come from college, having had the background he's had, plus what we need, which was probably a reduced amount of things to do out there with the veteran players we have. That's not to criticize anybody. That's a common goal, a common criticism of coaches. But I think he's the ideal fit for that." Now, if the Cowboys could just figure out who's calling plays on offense.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker