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Cowboys officially tab Rob Ryan to lead defense

Cowboys-Rob Ryan

DALLAS (AP) - Rob Ryan is officially the new defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys announced Ryan's hiring in an e-mail Wednesday.

Ryan agreed last weekend to take the job after an extensive interview Friday with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and new head coach Jason Garrett.

Ryan is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and the twin brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Dallas is scheduled to play the Jets next season.

Rob Ryan spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator in Cleveland, which fired coach Eric Mangini after the season. Ryan had interviewed for Carolina's head coaching job before Ron Rivera was hired there.

Wade Phillips was head coach and defensive coordinator for the Cowboys until being fired midway through last season. Phillips has since become defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans.

Defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni was defensive coordinator the rest of the season after Phillips was fired. Pasqualoni left the Cowboys last week to become head coach at the University of Connecticut.

Ryan has coached in the NFL for 13 seasons, including five seasons as defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders (2004-08) before going to Cleveland.

His first NFL job was as a defensive backs coach for his father in Arizona in 1994 and 1995. He was the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots from 2000-03, when he was part of two Super Bowl championship teams.

The 48-year-old Ryan played college ball at Southwestern Oklahoma State, where he and his brother were defensive ends. They were on opposite sidelines in November, when Rex Ryan's Jets beat the Browns 26-20 in overtime.

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