Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to return next season. That's both good news and bad for the Cowboys.
It's good news because Ryan impressed Jones enough in his first season to retain him. It's bad news because Ryan didn't impress anyone else enough to be in the mix for a head coaching job, at least so far.
Under Ryan, the Cowboys improved from 23rd to 14th in total defense this season. However, his defense also played a role in the Cowboys blowing fourth-quarter leads five times this season.
Still, it was a decided improvement over the previous season despite few personnel changes.
The Cowboys did not add any big-name free agents. Safety Abe Elam was brought in because he is familiar with Ryan's system. Kenyon Coleman was added to the defensive front and second-year man Sean Lee took over at inside linebacker.
Ryan also didn't get the benefit of an offseason to teach his multiple system, which is designed to confuse quarterbacks.