Not sure if this is out there but I just heard the Cowboys have fired Rob Ryan. Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) January 9, 2013

That's how it all started.  Within minutes it had spread like wildfire.  I didn't want to believe it- this man, who held together a respectable defense in the final weeks of the season using walk-on players, had just been fired.

This hadn't been officially confirmed by the Cowboys for a long time, but I had to admit that it's the truth when this man says it:

As Brian Costello and ESPN Dallas report, Cowboys have fired DC Rob Ryan. Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2013

And a direct quote from another respected journalist at ESPN definitely helped:

Rob Ryan confirms he's fired. "I'll be out of work for like 5 minutes," he said. Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 9, 2013

I have to admit, that sounds like the kind of brash, arrogant thing a Ryan brother would say.

The final proof was a re-tweet by the Dallas Cowboys official Twitter:

Ryan To Be Let Go As Defensive Coordinator: IRVING, Texas... Rowan Kavner (@KavnerDC) January 9, 2013

The question now is whether or not it's the right move.  Some tweets speculate on the possibility of letting Anthony Spencer walk and shifting to a 4-3 with a new defensive coordinator, but that seems unlikely.  

That kind of change would require an overhaul of the defensive line, shifting from big players that are essentially blockers for the linebackers to more athletic disrupters that cost more money to keep.  All of the defensive line is still under contract for 2013, so the Cowboys would essentially have a weaker hybrid defensive front unless they buyout contracts and take the dead cap space.

There's also some speculation on the possibility of Rob Ryan becoming the defensive coordinator for his brother Rex, but that is out, as Rex Ryan just announced Dennis Thurman as the new defensive coordinator.

Either way, a surprise development in Valley Ranch that could set the franchise back a couple of years just when they had almost put everything together.

Tell me your take on Facebook, Twitter, or just with comments!  I'd love to hear from anyone who thinks this is a smart move!

Here's a hint as to why it isn't:
Rob Ryan was fired on cell phone by Jason Garrett. "They want uncomfortable," Ryan said. "I'm comfortably numb. David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) January 9, 2013