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2021 Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator tracker: Reports, rumors, and everything you need to know

The Cowboys are on the hunt for a new defensive coordinator.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys finalized what many thought was an inevitability on Friday, January 8th when they fired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Nolan spent only a year with the Cowboys, the first that Mike McCarthy was the team’s head coach. McCarthy seemingly had Nolan hand-picked and ready to go for when his opportunity came following the season that he sat out from the NFL (2019) and the results were, well, they were not great.

Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was dismissed along with Mike Nolan which means that the Cowboys are currently trying to fill two voids on their coaching staff.

We have put together a tracker to curate all reports, rumors, and everything else that you need to know as it pertains to these openings and how the Cowboys are going to go about filling them. Here are eight possible candidates that the Cowboys could look to choose from.

Last Updated on Monday, January 11th, 2021 at 12:10pm ET.


Monday, January 11th: The only reported interviews and connections so far to the defensive coordinator role had all been external candidates prior to lunchtime on Monday. It was reported that the Cowboys interviewed senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who is already on staff, as well.

Monday, January 11th: The worldwide leader reported not only that former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn (who was the first name to be connected to the job) not only was flying to Dallas to interview for the defensive coordinator position (the other two candidates conducted virtual interviews), but that he is the favorite to land the gig.

Sunday, January 10th: ESPN reported just before the Wildcard Matchup between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints that Mike McCarthy and Jerry Jones interviewed Jason Simmons for their vacant defensive coordinator position.

Simmons worked with McCarthy for four seasons in Green Bay and even stayed last year in the franchise’s first full season without McCarthy. He spent the 2020 season as the secondary coach and defensive passing game coordinator for the Carolina Panthers under Matt Rhule.

Saturday, January 9th: It was reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the Cowboys will interview Joe Whitt Jr. for their open defensive coordinator position. Whitt worked with McCarthy for a majority of his time with the Green Bay Packers and most recently served as the secondary coach and passing game coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

Friday, January 8th: In the immediate aftermath of Nolan’s firing former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was mentioned as someone whom the Cowboys have discussed internally. Prior to manning the Falcons, Quinn served as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks and held that role when they won Super Bowl XLVIII. Kris Richard succeeded him in that role before joining the Cowboys.