Ryan named Defensive Coordinator

The Dallas Cowboys named Rob Ryan as the team's defensive coordinator on Wednesday.

Ryan replaces Paul Pasqualoni, who became the club's defensive coordinator midway through the 2010 season. Ryan arrives in Dallas with 24 years of coaching experience and 13 years of NFL experience.

He has spent the previous seven years as an NFL?defensive coordinator - Oakland Raiders (2004-08) and Cleveland Browns (2009-10) - and has four years of experience heading up defenses at the collegiate level.

In 2010 Ryan's defense in Cleveland tied for eighth in the NFL with 19 interceptions. Ryan's work as the head of the Browns defense saw six different players post multiple interceptions on the season to tie for the third-most players with two-or-more interceptions on a team this season. Rookie defensive back Joe Haden led the team, tied for fifth in the NFL and tied for second among rookies with six interceptions. Haden's six picks were the most by a Brown since Leigh Bodden had six in 2007, and they were the most by a Browns rookie since Anthony Henry had a team-record 10 thefts in 2001. Also among Ryan's secondary was the club's leading tackler in T.J. Ward. Ward, also a rookie, became the first Cleveland rookie to lead the team in tackles since linebacker Wali Rainer in 1999. On the ground, Cleveland allowed just seven rushing touchdowns which tied for the fourth-fewest in the league.

In Ryan's first season in Cleveland, the club did not allow a touchdown in three games - the most games in which a Browns defense did not yield a touchdown since 2003. Ryan's defense posted 40.0 sacks to tie for eighth in the league and the most for a Cleveland defense since racking up 43 in 2001. Over the second half of the season, Ryan's defense saw an improvement as they yielded less points allowed (-5.3 per-game), total yards allowed (-39.9), rushing yards allowed (-52.0), sacks (+1.0) and first downs allowed (-2.7).

Before landing in Cleveland, Ryan spent five seasons as the Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator. In his time guiding the fortunes of the Raiders defense, Ryan tutored a pair of Pro Bowlers in defensive end Derrick Burgess and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. In his four seasons playing for Ryan, Burgess amassed 38.5 sacks, including an NFL-best 16.0 in 2005. Asomugha finished 2006 third in the league with eight interceptions. In that same season, the Raiders defense led the league in pass defense (150.8 yards-per-game) and third in total defense (284.8 yards-per-game). For his work in 2006, Ryan was named the USA Today All-Joe Coordinator of the Year.

Ryan spent four seasons (2000-03) as the linebackers coach for Bill Belichick's New England Patriots. In his time with the Patriots, Ryan was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams - XXXVI and XXXVIII - while working with one of the league's top linebackers in Teddy Bruschi. He also mentored 2003 Pro Bowl linebacker Willie McGinest.

Ryan began his NFL coaching career in 1994 as the defensive backs coach under his father, Buddy, for the Arizona Cardinals. In his first season in Arizona, the Cardinals boasted the NFL's third ranked defense. Under Rob, cornerback Aeneas Williams earned two trips to the Pro Bowl (1994 and 1995) and the Cardinals led the league with 42 takeaways in 1995.

Ryan entered the coaching ranks in 1987 as a graduate assistant with Western Kentucky. He assumed similar responsibilities at Ohio State in 1988. He then spent five seasons (1989-93) at Tennessee State where he coached running backs (1989-91), linebackers (1992) and the defensive line (1993).

Ryan spent three years at outside linebacker with Southwestern Oklahoma State. His twin brother, Rex, is the head coach of the N.Y. Jets.

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