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Dan Quinn vs. Kellen Moore: Deciding which coordinator the Cowboys should prioritize if they had to choose

The Cowboys can’t really afford to let both of their coordinators leave, can they?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

We few, we lucky few, are fans whose team is fortunate enough to still be in the hunt of the ever elusive Lombardi trophy. The Dallas Cowboys journey to the Super Bowl is still very much alive, however, there are a few distractions from the outside that could be jarring their focus just a little bit from the task at hand. That, of course ,is the unknown future of both Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore.

Hopefully the Dallas Cowboys are wearing blinders this week and have tunnel vision trying to figure out the best way to keep their Super Bowl dream alive by beating the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday in the Wild Card Round. As much as we would like that to be true, it’s simply not plausible to hear the outside noise about how two valued members of the coaching staff could be moving on in what could be just a few weeks time.

Staying in the present is difficult to do in professional sports when so much depends on making moves that will impact the organization one way or another in the not-too-distant future. Such is the case with both Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore, both of which are at the top of many team’s lists in their search for their next head coach. While that’s good news for both of the Cowboys coordinators, it’s not such good news for the future the ball club.

Sadly, the Cowboys can’t prevent teams from interviewing either Dan Quinn or Kellen Moore as potential head coach candidates. And, they simply can’t promote them to get them to stick around with Mike McCarthy fully entrenched as the head in Dallas. The only thing they really can do is sit back and hope one, or both, stick around. But for the fun of it, if they had to prioritize one over the other, which one should they choose?

Kellen Moore

Las Vegas Raiders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

This baby-faced, 33-year-old up-and-coming offensive coordinator is currently receiving quite a bit of attention around league from teams looking at him as a potential candidate to become their next head coach. Despite being relatively new to the coaching side of the game - Cowboys QB coach (2018), Cowboys offensive coordinator (2019-2022) - he’s gained a reputation as a creative and inventive play caller in just a few years time.

While others have climbed the coaching ranks in similar fashion, few have had instant success as head coaches at such a young age. Because of that, teams may be a little leery of handing the reins over to someone without as much experience as some other candidate, which probably gives him a better chance of sticking around with the Cowboys after the 2021 season.

Dan Quinn

Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Dan Quinn’s infectious energy at the age of 51 has served him well throughout his coaching career that spans nearly as long as long as Kellen Moore’s entire life. He started out at William and Mary as a defensive line coach in 1994 and has coached nearly every position on that side of the ball at both the collegiate and professional level. That’s not even mentioning the five years (2015-2020) he spent as the Atlanta Falcons head coach.

Unlike Kellen Moore, Quinn has been there and done that throughout his coaching career. He knows the ins and outs already about how to build and run a team, which is why he is probably a more sought after candidate. If he wants to be in charge of running his own show once again, there may not be anything the Cowboys can do to convince him to stay in Dallas beyond the 2021 season.

The Verdict

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

If the Dallas Cowboys are weighing the pros and cons between Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore, the scales should tip heavily in the favor of the former rather than the latter. Quinn’s coaching credentials and vast vault of knowledge is invaluable for not only what he brings to the table as a defensive coordinator, but as a former head coach as well. There is simply very little, if anything, he hasn’t seen or been through to date in the NFL.

Prioritizing Dan Quinn over Kellen Moore should be almost a no-brainer for the Dallas Cowboys if it comes down to that. Finding a proven defensive coordinator with the same kind of credentials and knowledge as Quinn would be much more difficult than replacing a young, up-and-coming OC. After all, the Cowboys already have a Super Bowl winning play-caller under contract in Mike McCarthy in-house. The same can’t be said for Quinn.

What do you think?