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Cowboys news: Dan Quinn expected to be near the top of Denver’s wish list as head coach

Dan Quinn is a hot commodity, Dak acknowledges the accolades but is more focused on playoffs, what we learned from week 18, and more.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn thought to be on Broncos’ wish list as Denver fires HC Vic Fangio- Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire

Please stay away Denver.

The Denver Broncos have wasted no time in cleaning house after their disappointing 7-10 season. Head coach Vic Fangio was fired Sunday, the morning after the Broncos’ season-ending loss to Kansas City.

As the Broncos and general manager George Paton begin their search for a new head coach, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is widely expected to be a name at the top of their wish list. League insiders Tom Pelissero, Jason La Canfora, and Albert Breer all have identified Quinn as a leading candidate for serious consideration in Denver.

Quinn had already received a request to meet with Jacksonville for their head coaching vacancy. At the time, the 51-year-old Quinn declined to participate during the Week 17-18 interview window, but reportedly helped Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore prepare for his two-hour virtual conversation with the Jaguars on Friday.

2021 NFL playoff schedule: Cowboys will host 49ers in wild-card round- K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Going into week 18, Dallas was expected to play an NFC West team, but it wasn’t supposed to be the 49ers.

Matthew Stafford threw an overtime interception to end the drama. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks took care of business and defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 38-30.

Combined with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Carolina Panthers, Dallas finds themselves in the No. 3 seed of the NFC for the wild-card round. Their opponent? The red-hot 49ers who have won seven of their last nine contests.

San Francisco finished third in the NFC West, but the division has sent three teams to the playoffs once again.

Dallas will host the 49ers to renew one of the 1990s best playoff rivalries.

It will be the first time the two teams meet in the postseason since the 49ers won the NFC Championship, 38-28, following the 1994 season. That victory interrupted the Cowboys reign as Dallas was winning three out of four Super Bowls.

Dallas has won the last three meetings between the two clubs, including a late-season backup-QB matchup in 2020, 41-33.

Dak Prescott: TD record was great, but it doesn’t matter anymore- Josh Alper, ProFootballTalk

It's playoff time and Dak Prescott is well aware.

The playoffs start next weekend and Prescott already had his thoughts pointed in that direction.

“The stats and all that, the way we finished was great,” Prescott said, via the team’s website. “It’s what we wanted to do, build momentum, get in a rhythm — but none of that matters anymore. You get into this tournament, and it’s one game at a time. It’s must-win. So that’s the focus. . . . You’ve got to turn the page. You can’t hang your hat on the regular season or 12 wins or winning the division, because none of it matters.”

Prescott’s record will remain on the books, but there’s little doubt that the rest of the Cowboys’ season will fade away if they can’t advance past the Wild Card round.

3 things we learned from the Cowboys win against the Eagles- Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

While seemingly meaningless at the time, the Cowboys win over the Eagles vaults them into the three seed.

3. The Cowboys’ have historic depth

We know what you’re thinking. The Cowboys’ offense has been in a slump for a good chunk of the season. You’re right. But this off-and-on offense also helped set an NFL record this year.

The #Cowboys have now set the NFL record for most players to score a TD in a season (22).

Incredible.

— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) January 9, 2022

A remarkable 22 different Cowboys found the endzone at some point in the 2021-22 season. That is pretty darn impressive.

How do you do that? With tons of offensive and defensive weapons. The usual suspects like Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper all scored multiple touchdowns. Additionally, guys like Cedrick Wilson, Malik Turner, and Dalton Schultz performed much better than expected. But the rest of the list may surprise you:

JaQuan Hardy

Ito Smith

Anthony Brown

Trevon Diggs

Carlos Watkins

DeMarcus Lawrence

Terence Steele

Chauncey Golston

Dorance Armstrong

Sean McKeon

Nahshon Wright

The point is… whether it’s a pick-six, a short touchdown run, or a deep touchdown pass, the Cowboys have figured out ways for multiple guys to score. That could be a problem for whoever they play in the playoffs. The more threats, the harder it is to plan for a team.

Dallas Cowboys studs and duds: Dak Prescott shines in record-setting night- Randy Gruzi, FanSided

Well, look who is showing up in the studs list again.

Dallas Cowboys stud: Ezekiel Elliott, RB

Before the game, Ezekiel Elliot referenced his rookie season when Dallas rested before the playoffs and then started flat. He preferred going all-in on this one and that’s exactly what he did. Zeke finished the night with 87 yards, which put him over 1,000 on the season.

He wasn’t alone either as Corey Clement ran well and caught a touchdown pass and even Ito Smith came in late and ran in a touchdown as did JaQuan Hardy who scored his first NFL touchdown. The Cowboys running backs were on fire and Elliott was the one who set the tone.

Dallas Cowboys dud: La’el Collins, OT

There was a time not long ago that La’el Colling appeared to be the best offensive lineman in Dallas not named Zack Martin. However, this season, he hasn’t been at his best.

Saturday night was another example as he found himself struggling and was even stood up and bullied at one point by rookie Milton Williams. Dallas will need more of Collins going forward and he’s capable of that if he can get back into a rhythm.

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