Rex Ryan (Credit: ESPN)

ESPN analyst Rex Ryan raised plenty of eyebrows Sunday when he directly contradicted a report by NFL insider and colleague Adam Schefter.

Now we may know why.

On the Sunday NFL Countdown Super Bowl pregame show, Schefter reported that the Dallas Cowboys had hired Mike Zimmer as their new defensive coordinator.

Seconds later, Ryan disputed that report.

“First off, I’m not so sure Zimmer has that job right now,” Ryan said. “I’m not sure about that. I can honestly say I don’t believe that’s a fact right now.”

Many figured Ryan had some special insight into that situation, given he had interviewed for that DC role.

As it turns out, Ryan is reportedly still a candidate. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Monday that “Rex Ryan has reportedly re-entered the conversation with Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy. Ryan said yesterday that he reached out directly to McCarthy to make him aware of his interest in becoming Dallas DC.”

Schefter noted Sunday that the Cowboys “loved” Ryan. “They were highly impressed with Rex … he made quite a mark on the Jones family.”

Now we know Ryan is reportedly very interested in the role.

If Zimmer is not ultimately hired by the Cowboys, it would be a rare misfire for Schefter on breaking news. He appeared on The Pat McAfee Show Monday to address the strange dynamics of the situation.

“You guys are not the only ones surprised by that, right,” Schefter said. “I hear that, and I think, ‘What the heck?'”

McAfee asked, point blank, “Is Rex Ryan still in play as defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys?”

“I’m going to be fully transparent … (Ryan) opened it up, I’ll finish it up,” Schefter said. “And I love Rex. Mike Zimmer’s deal is not done yet, so they have reached out to Rex … and reached out to him about 15 minutes before that segment, just to say, ‘Hey, any shot at this?’ So that’s where the confusion came. … the deal’s not done yet.”

In the meantime, some in the NFL world believe there’s something strange going on in Dallas.

[Ed Werder, ESPN]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.