SAN ANTONIO – Cowboys coach Jason Garrett likes the confidence of Rob Ryan, even though Dallas' new defensive coordinator sometimes has a way of showing it that can run counter to the message to players.
One of the first things Garrett said at the start of training camp was that it was time to stop talking and get to work.
While Ryan has been working to install his defense with the Cowboys, he is also still talking. He made pointed comments this week that seemed directed at NFC East rival Philadelphia.
"I don't know if we win the all-hype team," Ryan said after Monday's second practice. "That might have gone to someone else, but we're going to beat their (rear) when we play them."
Ryan never mentioned a specific team, even when asked, but Philadelphia has already made seven major acquisitions. Safety Nnamdi Asomugha, considered by most as the top free agent, was also pursued by Dallas before he got a $60 million, five-year deal from the Eagles.
Since the Cowboys had a day off after Ryan spoke, Wednesday was the first opportunity for Garrett to be asked for his reaction about what was said.
"Um, Rob Ryan is a confident guy and one of the things that we like to instill in our players, our coaches and our football team is confidence and he has a track record being able to do that," Garrett said. "Beyond that, no real comment from me on that."
Ryan was hired during the offseason to take over a defensive unit that allowed 436 points, the most in team history. The Cowboys were 23rd in the NFL allowing 352 yards a game.
Being the son of Buddy Ryan and the twin brother of outspoken New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, Garrett and the Cowboys certainly knew the bravado of their new defensive coordinator even before he arrived.
"We want people to be who they are," Garrett said. "We bring people in here because of who they are, it's well thought out and then we go forward. So we like confidence, we have to do it on the field, and hopefully we'll demonstrate that as time goes."
Ryan didn't talk to reporters after the team's walkthrough session Wednesday.
Garrett wouldn't say if he had spoken specifically with Ryan about the all-hype comment.
"Rob and I have a lot of conversations throughout the day," Garrett said, smiling. "We have lively conversations on a lot of topics and he's just great to be around. ... He's a very engaging guy, he's fun to be around as a fellow coach."
Ryan is drastically different than Wade Phillips, who was the coach and defensive coordinator before being fired after the Cowboys' 1-7 start last season.
Returning starting safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who re-signed Wednesday, said it's good for Ryan — or any coach or player — to have that kind of swagger and real confidence.
"Looks like he's the type of guy who might give you bulletin board material now and then, but it's all for the better," Sensabaugh said.
"It's our job to go out and execute and make sure that he doesn't look like a fool," linebacker Bradie James said.
Garrett acknowledged that Ryan's confidence is good for a unit that struggled throughout last year and can help build a swagger in the preseason and heading into a new season.
"Ultimately how we execute and how we play is going to instill the swagger and the confidence that we need," Garrett said. "But certainly as you get started, it's important to walk into a room, walk out on the practice field, go into a game feeling confident and ready to go."