Rob Ryan: 'Gonna keep my mouth shut and work'

OXNARD, Calif. – Rob Ryan takes the blame for the Cowboys missing last season’s playoffs and vows that his defense will be much better in 2012.

Just how much better? A man who has never before been shy about boasting would rather not go there.

“Well, I guess we’re going to have to wait and see,” Ryan said. “Day one, I’m not calling anybody out. I’ve learned. This is a bigger media than some of the other spots that I’ve been, so I’m gonna keep my mouth shut and work.”

That’s a far cry from the beginning of last year’s training camp, when Ryan bragged about having the best defensive talent in the league. The Dallas defense ended up being a middle-of-the-pack bunch, finishing 14th in total defense and 16th in scoring defense, fading at the end of the season.

“We were the reason (the team) didn’t hold up, didn’t get to the playoffs,” Ryan said. “We’re looking forward to changing that.”

Ryan, who has been ripped often for failing to back up his big talk, recognizes that flapping is gums isn’t going to help matters.

Just don’t mistake that for Ryan being intimidated.

“I’m not running scared,” Ryan said. “I’m not scared of anybody. I’m ready. That’s why I came to Dallas. I might not have known it was going to be this much scrutiny in the media, but believe me, I wanted to be here with the Cowboys, America’s Team. It’s about time America likes a Ryan.”

It’s about time Ryan’s defense, with its upgraded personnel, comes close to living up to his original promises.