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Still no D in Dallas: Jones regrets firing Ryan

The SportsXchange

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones now admits a tinge of regret for firing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after last season and replacing him with Monte Kiffin.

The differences in the two coaches was on display Sunday when the New Orleans Saints set offensive records in a 49-17 beat-down of the Cowboys and a Kiffin's defense.

Last year, Ryan's Cowboys defense set a team record for yards allowed, but the unit was handicapped by a number of injuries, including the loss of five starters by the end of the season.

The results with Kiffin are worse. The Cowboys are on pace to set a team record for yards allowed and post one of the worst totals in NFL history.

"We thought it was best for us to go in the direction that we are, and it doesn't look good right now," Jones said. "Hopefully we can make it look good, but I have all the feelings that you have when you want to look back at a decision, and I realize when some of them work you have to have a few things go along with it.

"Candidly, we're having some of the same things that Rob had last year. Frankly, to be fair to Rob, he lost a lot of guys on defense. We lost more this year. That's the game, though. That's what we play. That's the NFL."

The Cowboys have allowed 4,398 yards this season, putting them on pace to allow 7,037 for the season. The NFL record is the 7,042 the Saints allowed last season until being revived by Ryan, who has them in the top 10 in 2013.

The Dallas defense is injured-plagued again this season. The Cowboys were without four starters against the Saints, and they lost leading tackler Sean Lee during the game -- but that excuse wasn't good enough for Ryan.

Ryan's Saints defense was dominant Sunday in holding the Cowboys to 193 yards, Dallas' lowest single-game total since 2008.

On Sunday, the Saints had their way with Kiffin's defense, amassing 625 yards. That was the most ever given up by the Cowboys and most given up in the NFL since 1982. It was the second time in three weeks that Dallas allowed more than 600 yards. The Detroit Lions gained 623 yards while beating the Cowboys 31-30 on Oct. 27.

The Saints also set an NFL record Sunday with 40 first downs.
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