Sources: Defensive staff must interview for jobs

The Dallas Cowboys' defensive coaching staff will have to interview with a new defensive coordinator to keep their jobs, sources said Wednesday.

In addition, the Cowboys are open to allowing those assistants who remain under contract to interview for jobs with other teams. The Cowboys would have to grant permission for them to take those jobs with other teams, if offered.

The Cowboys released defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on Tuesday evening and are thinking of changing their defensive alignment from a 3-4 to a 4-3.

Several of the coaches are out of town on vacation and were unavailable for comment. The Cowboys' front office met with members of the coaching staff Monday and informed some they wouldn't return, such as running backs coach Skip Peete. Ryan was told about his future on Tuesday evening.

Ryan has praised the work of several of his assistant coaches, including linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, secondary coach Jerome Henderson and defensive line coach Brian Baker.

The Cowboys defense made strides at times this season, but failed to make enough plays to keep the staff intact, as evident by Ryan's departure.

As a unit, the Cowboys lost five starters and two backups.