IRVING, Texas – Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan isn't one to sugarcoat his feelings, even if that means praising an opponent.
Ryan called Philadelphia the most talented team in the league and the Eagles' LeSean McCoy the best running back in the NFL. Though he may not be having the year many expected him to, McCoy is still a top-10 back in rushing under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
"I think he's tremendous," Ryan said of McCoy. "He's so talented. He's got vision everywhere. He's so quick. I think Mornhinweg's probably the only guy that can stop him, because the guy's phenomenal. If they don't give it to him, that's a good thing."
Ryan, who knows how electrifying the Philadelphia offense can be, clarified that he has nothing but respect for Mornhinweg and the rest of the Eagles staff. McCoy ran all over the Cowboys the last time the teams met in Philadelphia, rushing for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He was the key offensive cog in that 34-7 Eagles victory.
"That was as poor a job of coaching as I've ever done in 15 years in the NFL," Ryan said. "The second time we played them was more up to what we need to do. It took me a while to learn this NFC East, but we'll see if all the work we've done in the offseason up until now will pay off. I think the Giants and the Eagles had their way with us. A lot of that was me not knowing the league. But I know the league now."
Quarterback Michael Vick didn't fumble or throw an interception in either game against the Cowboys last year. Ball security has been more of an issue this year for Vick, who's been sacked 27 times behind a battered offensive line.
"I'm surprised every time he's brought down," Ryan said. "Another super-talented guy. This is the most talented team in football. When you look at the X's and O's, that's the truth about this team. There're two really hungry teams going at it in Philly in Sunday."
Due to injuries, it seems Ryan's defense features a new player every weekend. The defensive coordinator admits getting new personnel up to speed can be difficult, but as he puts it, "90 percent of the people in the world don't care if you've got problems, and the other 10 percent are glad you've got them."
He's going to adjust on the fly because there's no other choice. After Sean Lee went down, the Cowboys brought in Ernie Sims. Safety Charlie Peprah was inactive after joining the squad that week. Ryan said that won't be the case this weekend.
"We've had to adapt," Ryan said. "Charlie's going to play a lot this week. Once we get these guys in here, we catch them up to speed, we're going to play them."