It has only been a few days since the Dallas Cowboys officially moved on from defensive coordinator Mike Nolan after just one year of service with the club, but they are seemingly moving rather quickly at finding a replacement.
We’ve been tracking all of the names connected to the job and to this point there are three serious ones: Dan Quinn, Joe Whitt, and Justin Simmons.
The latter two both have experience working with Mike McCarthy when he was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. The first, Dan Quinn, most recently was a head coach himself having served as the main man for the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 all the way to the beginning of this year when he was fired early on in the season. Quinn rose to prominence in the NFL in 2013 and 2014 when he served as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.
Dan Quinn is reportedly the “favorite” to become the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator
Seattle made it to the Super Bowl in both of the seasons that Dan Quinn coordinated their defense and even won the first against one of the greatest offenses in NFL History (Super Bowl XLVIII against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos). Of course, his time there coincides with the iconic Legion of Boom defense that Seattle had for so long, as did Kris Richard’s, but Quinn was notably more involved than Richard was given their job descriptions.
Mike McCarthy has so far outfitted his Cowboys coaching staff with plenty of former head coaches. It appears that he may want to go down that path again with this hire as according to ESPN, Dan Quinn is the “favorite” to land the team’s defensive coordinator role, and according to NFL Network a deal could potentially come as soon as today.
Dan Quinn is the favorite to become the Cowboys next defensive coordinator, sources tell me and @AdamSchefter. He is flying to Dallas to interview for the job. The other two known candidates – Joe Whitt Jr. and Jason Simmons – had their interviews virtually.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) January 11, 2021
More on Dan Quinn: After spending several hours on Zoom with the #Cowboys brass over the weekend, he’s on a flight to Dallas to meet in person now. Quinn is the top candidate for the #Cowboys DC job, and a deal could come today, source says. https://t.co/45R3ctTR7W— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2021
Quinn helped lead the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance of their own, Super Bowl LI where they infamously blew a 28-3 to the New England Patriots. It has been difficult for the Falcons franchise to shed that bit of history from their name ever since, and as we all know some coaches perform better as coordinators than they do in the role of head coach.
Atlanta has had some legitimate playmakers on the defensive side of the ball in Quinn’s time with them (Deion Jones, Keanu Neal come to mind), and they obviously had an elite offense in the year that they won the NFC. Here is how Quinn’s Falcons defenses stacked up from a DVOA perspective in the seasons that he finished there as a head coach.
- 2015............... 22nd
- 2016............... 27th
- 2017................ 22nd
- 2018............... 31st
- 2019................ 20th
Of course this isn’t everything, but it is noteworthy. When compared to the other two options it does seem as if Dan Quinn is the best possible choice for the Cowboys, especially given the strong culture that he built within the Falcons organization. That is very much needed in the Cowboys locker room at the moment.
How do you feel about the possibility of the Cowboys hiring Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator?