Rob Ryan's vacation just got extended indefinitely. The Dallas Cowboys informed the defensive coordinator Tuesday it would not be asking him to return to coach the 2013-14 season, ESPN reports.
Ryan was fired just one day after running backs coach Skip Peete was let go as well. He spent two years as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator after he was fired two years ago from the same coaching position in Cleveland, and still had one year remaining on his three-year contract with Dallas.
"I want to express my appreciation to Rob for all of his efforts and contributions to the Cowboys over the past two years," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a statement. "At this time, the decision has been made to move forward in a different direction philosophically on defense. I have an immense amount of respect for Rob as a person and as a football coach and I wish him and his family the very best."
The Cowboys' defense finished the season 19th overall in the NFL, 17th against the run and 21st against the pass. The team's defense was marred by injuries all season long, missing five starters and two more key backups.
"I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better," Ryan told ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon. "I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I'll be out of work for like five minutes."
"I think I did a good job and I think our staff did a good job on defense trying to compete with what we had at the end of the year," Ryan told MacMahon. "But the best job we did was when we were able to coach our starters."
Head coach Jason Garrett stumped for Ryan after Dallas' season ended, seemingly giving him his support to continue his job next season.
"I thought Rob did a really good job," Garrett said. "I stood up here a number of times and said you don't want to talk about injuries and we're not talking about them now but in answering your question I'm going to say that it was a real challenge for (Ryan). If you think about the number of guys we lost on defense, starting, marquee players who are just simply out, and the other guys who are battling through injuries and the challenges he had bringing guys from the practice squad up, from off the street and on our team and literally playing them two days later."
However, just a few days after those comments, Cowboys team owner, general manager Jerry Jones announced that due to the team's 8-8 finish changes were need and that he was about to make people (even more) uncomfortable (than usual) on the coaching staff.
Ryan was reportedly taking time off, vacationing in the Turks and Caicos Islands when he received a phone call telling him he wouldn't be asked back to the job.
"I enjoyed my time here," Ryan told The Dallas Morning News. "I have no hard feelings. But it doesn't matter if I coach here or not. I will find another spot."
This marks the second year in a row the Dallas Cowboys have finished the season 8-8. Dallas is 128-128 since the beginning of the 1997 season, and have just one playoff victory in that time span.
"Big surprise," cornerback Brandon Carr said. "This is my first year (in Dallas) and there were already changes."