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Ryan Hopes His Defense Learned From Losses To Giants

IRVING, Texas - Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan hasn't forgotten about the 68 combined points the Cowboys allowed to the Giants in two games last season.

He said he took offense to the season-ending 31-14 defeat, which knocked the Cowboys out of playoff contention last season.  He also said he hopes his defense has learned from it.

"I had a lot to do with it, and I don't want that to happen again," Ryan said. "Did it ruin my offseason? No. They were the best team in the league. They won the Super Bowl. But do I plan to do something about it? Yeah. We plan on getting a hell of a lot better."

Ryan said he has no doubt the Cowboys defense will be prepared for the season opener after two disappointing performances against the Giants late last season.

The offseason signing of cornerback Brandon Carr and the selection of cornerback Morris Claiborne in the first round of the NFL Draft were designed to combat many of the weapons the NFC East teams offer in the passing game.

Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks both finished with a game of at least 150 receiving yards against the Cowboys last year.  Ryan said he expects to put more pressure on the quarterback this season, though it's a tough task against Eli Manning.

"He's smart with the ball, he's been in the system, he knows it inside out, he's done a great job, he's been a leader, he makes throws," Ryan said. "But we've got to make it tougher on him – that's for sure – than we did the last two times we played him.

"They have a lot of routes where he gets rid of the ball really quick. You're not going to sack Eli Manning if he wants to throw the ball in one second."

In addition to putting on pressure, Ryan said the cornerbacks need tighter coverage and better communication than they had last year. He said Claiborne's gotten in better shape since returning from his knee injury, and Ryan thinks Barry Church has been ready to start at safety for a while.

"We've been working hard all summer for this," Ryan said. "I know we'll be ready to go."

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