Cowboys just interviewed this former head coach for DC
By Mitch Larson
The Dallas Cowboys are continuing their defensive coordinator search
The Dallas Cowboys are still searching for their next defensive coordinator and a high-profile former head coach could fill the void. Former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is flying to Dallas for a second interview with the team today. Quinn is best known for his time in Atlanta, as well as his two-season stint as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.
In six seasons as the head coach of the Falcons, Quinn went 43-42. After going 8-8 his first season, he guided the team to the Super Bowl the next year. Atlanta made the playoffs the following season, but since then the team struggled as they went 7-9 in consecutive seasons. This year, Quinn was relieved of his duties after going winless in his first five games.
Before Atlanta, Quinn gained notoriety for his time with the Seattle Seahawks. In his two seasons helming the team’s defense (2013 and 2014), they ranked first in total points and yards as well as first in passing defense both years. After Quinn became a head coach, the Falcons had a top 10 defense just once, in 2017 when they ranked ninth in yards and eighth in total points.
If the Dallas Cowboys hire Dan Quinn it’s a clear indication that they would be looking to keep the team in a base 4-3 defense, the scheme Quinn has run throughout his career. Dallas struggled mightily to adjust to Mike Nolan’s new scheme which, while still technically a 4-3, also disguised things by often utilizing many of the concepts that a 3-4 defense uses. Nolan’s scheme was far more complex and a big shift away from what former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli ran for six seasons with the team.
As the roster stands now, the Cowboys’ personnel likely best fits into a base 4-3 and it was pretty evident as they looked most comfortable when running that this past season. With a top 10 pick in the draft, Dallas will have their choice of high upside players who can make an impact on defense. That’s good news for a team that sported the worst defense in team history this past season.
Quinn is the third candidate to interview with the Cowboys so far this offseason. A member of his own staff, Atlanta’s passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr., interviewed over the weekend. The team also interviewed Carolina Panthers’ assistant coach, Jason Simmons for the vacant role as well. Both Whitt Jr. and Simmons have ties to McCarthy that date back to his days in Green Bay and interviewed virtually. Quinn is the only candidate to have previously been a defensive coordinator at the NFL level.
Dan Quinn is a household name and is widely seen as the favorite to be the team’s next defensive coordinator. A deal could come together quickly, and if so he should be a solid upgrade over Nolan. Outside of signing quarterback Dak Prescott to an extension, the top priority for Dallas Cowboys this offseason was finding a competent coordinator who can help guide the team to find success on the defensive side of the ball. With a solid track record, Quinn could be just what the team needs.