Cowboys' Ryan takes blame for communication issues

Posted Dec. 16, 2011 @ 5 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has taken public hits lately for the Cowboys' seeming inability to protect late leads and for the team's blown defensive assignments. He has chalked it up to putting his players in bad positions with frequent personnel and formation changes and for not getting the defensive calls in properly. The Cowboys have been caught with too many (12) or not enough (11) defensive players on the field a number of times this season and have struggled when opponents have gone to a quicker-paced attack. It came to a head in the final six minutes of the loss to the Giants when the Cowboys — who already were without Abram Elam, who handles the bulk of the secondary communication — struggled to get the right people in the right places in blowing a 12-point lead. In-game injuries to DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee, Jay Ratliff and Mike Jenkins contributed to it, but Ryan said the two-minute breakdowns have been his fault.