Too Much, Too Soon

Ryan said his defense would be great the first week of the season.

"pudding" he refers to are the consistently middling rankings those units achieved. In seven years as a coordinator his teams have finished, on average, 24th in takeaways, 23rd in yards and 23rd in points.

"I've had success, even though it's been documented that I haven't," Ryan said. "I know I'm great, but I know my assistant coaches, the guys that I'm with, are better than me. That's why I have a lot of faith in them, and I have a lot of faith in this talent here. (Director of Scouting) Tom Ciskowski has done a hell of a job assembling this talent here.

"You talk about talent in Cleveland - there's some talent here, and to be honest with you, I haven't seen talent like this on a defense in a long time."

Let's give Ryan the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise. To be fair, he's never had a whole lot to work with. But the most recent history suggests the Cowboys' defensive talent is not as great as we've all allowed ourselves to believe in recent years. Ryan has more work ahead of him than he's letting on. There are issues here that must be addressed, and he must know it.

"I definitely wouldn't talk about them," Ryan said. "So nah, we're great."

Unfortunately, just saying it doesn't make it so.

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