Rex Ryan is at least thinking about returning to the NFL for the second straight year.
The former Jets head coach has interviewed with the Cowboys for their defensive coordinator position, according to multiple reports. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson first reported the news.
The Cowboys are searching for a new defensive coordinator after Dan Quinn left to become the head coach of the Commanders.
Ryan, 61, interviewed for the Broncos’ defensive coordinator position last year after they hired Sean Payton as their head coach, but Denver brought back its former head coach Vance Joseph as its defensive coordinator.
Ryan hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2016, when he was fired with one game left in his second season as the Bills head coach.
He’s been an NFL analyst for ESPN ever since.
The Cowboys have also interviewed former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and just-fired Commanders coach Ron Rivera for the position, according to reports.
The fiery Ryan got off to a great start when he got his first NFL head-coaching job with the Jets in 2009, taking them to back-to-back AFC Championship games, falling short of reaching the Super Bowl each time.
But the Jets did not make the NFL playoffs during Ryan’s last four years in Florham Park, and he was fired after going 4-12 in 2014.
Ryan was last a defensive coordinator with the Ravens from 2005-08.
It’s unclear how serious Ryan is about getting back into coaching after seven seasons away, and he and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could be a potentially combustible mix — Ryan’s twin brother Rob was Dallas’ defensive coordinator in 2011 and ’12 before he was fired.
If Ryan has his eyes on potentially becoming a head coach again and wants to reestablish himself as a coordinator, the Cowboys could be a good landing spot, with coach Mike McCarthy entering a pressure-packed walk year coming off an embarrassing home wild-card loss to the Packers.