With the full consideration of the heterogeneity, existing joints, and cracks in the rock, the coupled gas-rock model for investigating the failure process of coal-rock is established by introducing the related equations governing the evolution of stress, damage and gas permeability along with the deformation of coal and rock. A numerical approach of realistic failure process analysis (RFPA) to simulate the stratum movement, layer separation, the whole collapse progresses, and gas permeability changing of the protected coal seam is proposed. The numerical simulation results well displayed the whole processes of the cracks growth of gas seepage passage and the change of gas permeability for the closed distance protected coal seam. It can be seen from the distribution of acoustic emission in the space that the stratum failure is transferred from deeper to surface. By the analysis of the stress fields changing, the reasons of the gas permeability improvement of the protected coal seam are presented.