New To The Silver & Blue: Rob Ryan

I have to admit when I found out  Rob Ryan was being considered for the defensive coordinator spot  I was confronted by a flash of  Buddy Ryan coaching our rivals the Eagles and thoughts of him sounding off on Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys. Now it’s funny when we hear sound bites now and again of the argument but back then I was one mad Cowboy Fan.  However that is the past, and we are now moving on to the future.

I didn’t know anything about the Ryan family when I started researching however I learned some very interesting facts.

Rob was born December 13, 1962 in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  He is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and his twin brother Rex is the current head coach of the New York Jets.

Rob’s parents Buddy and Doris divorced in 1966 and the boys moved to Canada with their mother. In 1974 they came back to the states to live with their father.  Rob attended high school in Linconchire, Illinois.

Rob attended college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where our own Kelly Horn graduated, where he played defensive end opposite his brother Rex.

Rob’s resume is a long one. He began his coaching career in 1987.

Here is his coaching resume:

  • 1987 Assistant at Western Kentucky
  • 1988 Ohio State – Linebacker
  • 1989-93  Tennessee State – RB, LB and DL
  • 1994-95  Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Backs
  • 1996     Hutchinson Community College
  • 1997-1999  Oklahoma State – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2000- 03    New England Patriots – Linebacker
  • 2004 – 08   Oakland Raiders – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2009-10  Cleveland Browns – Defensive Coordinator

While that is impressive, I wanted to know how good is he at his job. He was named Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 1997 by the Sporting News for getting  Oklahoma State’s defense ranked among the best in the nation. In 2003 New England’s defense ranked 1st in the NFL in fewest points allowed, along with best scoring defense in 2001.

I was pleased to find out that his players admitted that he is a coach that demands respect but that they loved playing for him. Buddy Ryan said his son gets 100% out of each player.

Rob Ryan has an abundance of experience and unlike his father, his players respect him and he gets the best out of each player. Along with stars like DeMarcus Ware and Jay-Rat, he will also have young talent to work  with. It will be interesting to see if he can turn Mike Jenkins around and what he can turn Bryan McCann into. He has talented veterans to depend on along with the young guns to mold.

I am not a Buddy Ryan fan, but I have to admit his sons seem to have learned something  Buddy himself didn’t – Coaches must  have players respect.

I can’t wait to see what the 2011 season has to offer. With Jason Garrett at the helm and Rob Ryan pumping up the defense we will definitely improve this season. We just need to take it one game at a time.

88 Drew Pearson – Wide Receiver – 1973-1983

One Cowboy who is always near and dear to my heart is wide receiver Drew Pearson who is best known as the player who caught the famous “Hail Mary” pass thrown by the great Roger Staubach.

Drew Pearson, or “Mr. Clutch” as he was commonly called, didn’t start his career out as wide receiver, and in fact he replaced Hall of Famer, Joe Theismann, at quarterback, when he began his football career at South River High School.
Soon after, he attended the University of Tulsa and graduated in 1972, but not before winning the university’s President Award given each year to their best athlete.

Unfortunately, Drew was not selected in the NFL draft, mostly because he was a wide receiver in a run based offense while in college. However, that did not stop the Cowboys from signing Pearson as a free agent in 1973. They didn’t know it at the time, but Pearson would blossom into one of the greatest wide receivers ever to play the game.

Drew got his nickname because of his many game-winning catches and his ability to make a clutch play whenever his team needed one. Legendary Cowboys head coach, Tom Landry, had this to say after the famous “Hail Mary” game,

“It was amazing, unbelievable. I can’t believe the ball stuck on Drew’s hip like that. It was a thousand-to-one shot, but I tell you, I’ll take it. The game was out of my hands.”

Drew Pearson helped the Cowboys to three Super Bowl appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XII in 1978. He was named All-Pro 3 times and made Pro Bowl appearances in 1974, 1976 and 1977. He led the NFC in pass receptions in 1976 with 58.

Pearson was also a great leader and served as a captain for the Cowboys for four years.

He ended his marvelous career with 489 receptions and 7,822 receiving yards, and 50 touchdowns, and was recently named to the NFL’s 1970′s All-Decade Team by Sports Illustrated.

Since his retirement in 1983, Drew has gone on to become a sports broadcaster for CBS and HBO; and he also hosted the Dallas Cowboys post-game show.

He will always be remembered as one of the greatest receivers ever to wear the Dallas Cowboys uniform, but unfortunately his story is not one with a happy ending.

Despite all of Pearson’s amazing accomplishments and a wonderful and storied career as a Dallas Cowboy, he has yet to be inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor because of a dispute with team owner Jerry Jones.

It was Drew Pearson who originally gave fame and notoriety to uniform number 88. Later on, a kid by the name of Michael Irvin chose that number to honor him and added even more magic and mystique to the number 88. Irvin’s name is deservedly enshrined in the Ring of Honor, while Drew Pearson simply watches and waits.

Regardless of what Jones’ off the field differences are with Pearson, his refusal to acknowledge and honor one of the greatest players ever to wear the Cowboys uniform is both petty and sad.

Luckily, die-hard Cowboys fans across the country, already regard Mr. Clutch as one of the all time Dallas Cowboys, it’s too bad the Dallas Cowboys don’t see it that way.

Ready For A Fresh, Clean New Year

In a few weeks we will be able to put the 2010 season behind us. I believe many of us have already, but it will be official after the Super Bowl. The Steelers going for their 7th ring as well as the extremely impressive accomplishment of tying the Dallas Cowboys with eight Super Bowl appearances. The Packers are going for their 4th ring in their 5th appearance.

Photo credit: Tim Frazier

With the big game in our home stadium, it’s a little hard to get excited about it. It’s never easy watching another team achieve dreams and fly past your team, and now it will be done on our field. But I’m not going to cry about it. I think if I have to chose a team, I’m going with the Packers. Simply because we don’t want the Steelers getting their 7th ring before we get our 6th!

Did I mention that big game is on my birthday? Yeah, I probably did several times before and all my friends are very aware of that fact. I had a dream that any Cowboys fan would have had if the Super Bowl landed on their birthday the same year it was at their home stadium… but that dream faded long ago.

I want you to know that it doesn’t change my passion for the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, very soon we will be unleashing the new website – LSS 3.0, if you will. A new look, a new logo, a new attitude. I have been working very hard on getting it together and I believe you are going to love it! I know things have been slow around here but soon that will all change. We have some wonderful things in store for Cowboys fans.

Stay tuned! Go Cowboys!

There Is A God In Heaven

For years and years I’ve complained about how lifeless and uninspiring former Cowboys head coach and defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips has been for the Cowboys.

He had no dynamic energy that his players could feed off of, and too many times lack of passion after a loss. We all became too accustomed to his post game comments after we had our asses handed to us. His usual “ho-hum, we were outplayed again” message did very little to fire a team up that on paper could rival any team in the league.

My first wish came true in the form of Jason Garrett who immediately took over a lifeless team and breathed some fire and passion into what was a listless and unmotivated highly compensated roster. The results were startling and dramatic, leaving Jerry Jones no other choice but the obvious one in taking the interim label away from his title.

Now it seems that my second wish will come true and we will fill the defensive coordinator position with another fiery type in Rob Ryan, brother of Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Getting Ryan to run the Cowboys defense would be a major coup for the team. Ryan has the energy and passion to get these players to elevate their performance and leave it all on the field for every game. And by every game I mean all four quarters of the game, not just the first two followed by the usual Cowboys defensive fade in the second half.

This team has needed a personality transplant for a long time, and with Garrett and Rob Ryan calling the shots, we can expect to see a team that will be 100% charged up and ready to win for every opposing matchup next season.

I applaud both of these bold moves by Jerry Jones and I hope to see some more of this aggression in the draft as well as free agency.

Go Cowboys!

Irvin Believes In Jason Garrett And That’s Good Enough For Me

Jason Garrett is picking up a lot of believers since being named the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and chief among them might be former Cowboys receiver and Hall of Famer, Michael Irvin.

Irvin had plenty of good things to say to Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News, when Garrett was appointed as the franchise’s eighth head coach last Thursday, “I said to the football gods, ‘You got this one right,'” Irvin recalled.

Irvin recalls his time with Garrett when they were both teammates during the glory years, and remembers Garrett’s incredible work ethic.

“Every time I stepped on the field to run routes — extra routes, workouts, offseason — there was one man out there with me,” Irvin said. “And that was Jason Garrett. They used to say I was the hardest-working guy on the team. But Jason Garrett was right there with me.”

Often times, Irvin would even convince Garrett to train with him outside the official team practices. and played a part in why he became one of the NFL’s best receivers. Although Garrett never became the great player that Irvin was, Irvin says that Garrett is finally getting his just deserts after having the interim tag stripped from his job title.

“He never got the payoff on the field for all the hard work he put in,” Irvin said. “But the football gods say that hard work pays off. And he got this job. If they follow him, they will win Super Bowls. This kid worked his [butt] off. If he conveys that message, like he has so far, the Cowboys’ star will have a shine on it again.”

It will be nice to have someone like Garrett at the helm who already has more respect from players and coaches than Wade Phillips ever had.

The fact that Garrett tasted success at the highest level when the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, gives me confidence that it wont be long before the Cowboys win their sixth Lombardi Trophy.

I know some fans wanted a higher profile coach to run the team, but as has been pointed out before by Jerry Jones himself, no coach that has ever won a super bowl with one team, ever won a super bowl with another team.

LSS Extra Points: Goodbye 2010

After ending the 2010 season a disappointing 6-10, the Cowboys will pick 9th in the 2011 NFL draft. While some would have rather the Cowboys lost the finale and received pick #6, I like what DeMarcus Ware had to say about the situation:

“It’s all about pride. When a fan sees you’re still fighting in the last game of the season and you don’t have anything to play for, you talk about the winning tradition of the Dallas Cowboys.”

***

2011 Opponents are as follows:

Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets.

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Sam Hurd, who was sidelined at the season finale game due to a head injury, was chosen as the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. The Ed Block Courage Award is an annual award presented to selected players in the National Football League, who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage (Wikipedia).

***

Wide receiver Roy Williams make some interesting comments in the past week.

“I was the go-to guy in Detroit. Coordinators can make who they want to make the star.”

“This is my dream [to stay] here and it started out good. Started out real good, but it fell apart I guess you could say. I love to be here.”

Many believe Williams’ is on his way out of Dallas, and I’m sure he has very few supporters campaigning to keep him a Cowboy. 37 catches for 530 yards and five touchdowns hardly warrants the high priced contract Jerry Jones generously issued back in 2008 (6 years, $54 million).

***

DeMarcus Ware won the NFL sack title with 15.5 sacks on the season. With his three sacks in Sunday’s game, Ware beat out Kansas City’s Tamba Hali by one sack. This is Ware’s second sack title in his 6-year career.

***

Jason Witten and Miles Austin both finished the season with over 1,000 yards. Witten passed the 1,000 yard mark in the final play of the game, ending the year with 85 receptions for 1002 yards and nine touchdowns. Austin finished with 69 receptions for 1041 yards (down from 1320 in 2009) and seven touchdowns.

***

And last but not least…

After the media mania on Sunday morning declaring Jason Garrett the official head coach, Jerry Jones himself denied the rumors.  Jones reiterated that he will honor the Rooney Rule, which states a minority must be interviewed.

“I am really interested in following the spirit of our NFL rules and that’s what this is all about.”

Reports Sunday and Monday say the Cowboys will interview wide receivers coach Ray Sherman to honor that rule. ESPNDallas reports that interview will take place Tuesday. ESPN also believes Jones wants to hire the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys by Friday. Which only leads one to believe that Jason Garrett is Jerry’s man.

Cowboys 50th Season Was Far From Golden

With a win over the Eagles Sunday it closed out another season for the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t exactly a season the Cowboys were hoping for as they ended at 6-10 and a third place finish in the NFC East. Heading into the 50th season for the Cowboys in 2010 there were hopes of a division championship and maybe even an appearance at Super Bowl XLV in their own stadium. So as the Cowboys clean out their lockers and head on home let’s take a look back at what happened this season.

Week 1…With the Cowboys thinking they beat the Redskins on the last play of the game, Alex Barron gets called for a holding penalty and the Cowboys lose 13-7.

Week 2…Cowboys lose to the Bears 27-20 and go 0-2. But everyone sees the talent of Dez Bryant as he returns a punt 62 yards for a touchdown.

Week 3…The Cowboys get their first victory of the season with a win over the Texans 27-13 as the 911 connection of Tony Romo to Roy Williams goes for two touchdowns.

Week 4…Cowboys lose to the Titans 34-27. Marc Colombo gets an excessive celebration penalty when he falls to the ground after spiking the ball after a Jason Witten touchdown.

Week 5…Cowboys lose to the Vikings 24-21. Miles Austin performs his leap frog ability as he jumps over Roy Williams in the end zone.

Week 6…Cowboys lose to the Giants 41-35 after taking a 20-7 lead. Tony Romo is lost for the season after breaking his collarbone.

Week 7…Cowboys continue to slide with a loss to the Jaguars 35-17. David Gerard looks like a hall of fame quarterback as he throws for four touchdowns and runs for another.

Week 8…Cowboys hit rock bottom with 45-7 loss in Green Bay. Jerry Jones fires Coach Wade Phillips and promotes Jason Garrett to head coach.

Week 9…Jason Garrett wins in his debut as head coach over the Giants 33-20. A star is born among Cowboys fans as Bryan McCann returns an Eli Manning interception 101 yards for a touchdown.

Week 10…Cowboys win two in a row for the first time this season when they beat the Lions 35-19. Bryan McCann makes another big play as he returns a punt 97 yards for a touchdown.

Week 11…The Cowboys have the Saints beat on Thanksgiving, until Roy Williams fumbles at the Saints 11 yard line late in the game. The Saints then drive 91 yards on the Cowboys defense for the winning touchdown, 30-27.

Week 12…The Cowboys defense comes alive with four interceptions off Peyton Manning. They return two for touchdowns and set up the winning field goal in overtime with another one as they beat the Colts 38-35. They also lose Dez Bryant for the season with a broken ankle.

Week 13…Cowboys lose to the Eagles 30-27 as DeSean Jackson burns the defense on a 91 yard catch and run for a touchdown.

Week 14…Cowboys blow a 30-14 lead to Rex Grossman and the Redskins, but hold on for a 33-30 victory. Jason Witten breaks loose with 140 yards on 10 receptions and a touchdown.

Week 15…Cowboys lose to the Cardinals 27-26. Stephen McGee plays in his first career game after John Kitna is injured. He leads the Cowboys to their fist lead of the game with less than two minutes to play, but the defense fails to respond and allows the Cards a last second field goal.

Week 16…Cowboys finish their disappointing season with 14-13 victory over the Eagles, who played mostly backup players. Jason Witten scored with less than a minute to play. But it was DeMarcus Ware who showed that he had no quit in him. Ware finished the game with three sacks and also recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.

Sources Say Garrett Officially Named Head Coach

Several sources are reporting that the Dallas Cowboys have removed the interim tag from Jason Garrett role and have named him the next head coach.

NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi is reporting that the Cowboys have removed the interim label from head coach Jason Garrett.

A high-ranking team source tells Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that “Jason Garrett will likely be named the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach.”

Jason Garrett becoming the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for the 2011 season has gone from “likely” to definite. – Pro Football Talk

We are still awaiting the official word from the team but it seems the decision has been made.

Congratulations Jason Garrett, the 8th head coach of America’s Team!