After giving up just 19 touchdowns through the air in 2009-10, the Cowboys gave up 33 passing scores in 2010-11, and the defensive backfield was by far the most disappointing part of the defense as a whole.
Terence Newman got another year older, and it showed in his play. Mike Jenkins regressed, big time. And Orlando Scandrick basically disappeared. It didn't help that those were the only three cornerbacks that the 'Boys had on their opening day roster.
Starting safeties Gerald Sensabaugh and Alan Ball both struggled with injuries and with their play when they were on the field. Ball, in particular, was quite bad, and he made former Cowboys safety Roy L. Williams look like he was good in coverage.
As both are free agents this offseason, you could see an entirely new safety tandem patrolling the back end for the Cowboys in the 2011-12 season.
Ryan was brought in with a mandate to fix the league's seventh worst pass defense, and his attacking style will help, but he still needs the personnel in place to be able to implement his system. The Cowboys let up the second most points per game in the league last year, and that simply is not acceptable.
Signing any of the following five players would go a long way toward fixing the Cowboys' pass defense, and in turn, leading the team back to the playoffs this season.