Dan Quinn has just agreed to become the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator but what can he and the team do to fix this defense?
The Dallas Cowboys almost always get their man. In my time following the team, almost every person who has conducted an in-person interview whether it being a player or coach eventually dons the silver and blue.
A quick look into Dan Quinn the defensive coordinator and not Dan Quinn the head coach revealed some pretty interesting data that will make some Cowboy fans feel better about the hiring of Quinn.
In Dan Quinn’s first year as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks, the team was ranked first in total defense and the team went on to win Super Bowl 48. That was up from the previous year which had them ranked as the fourth-best total defensive unit. Talk about having an instant impact. Well, that is not the case entirely.
The Seahawks drafted what is known as the Legion of Boom but Quinn was not involved in the acquisition of any of those players. Other than safety Earl Thomas, the rest of the members were not first-round picks. Second, the 2012 defense that ranked first in scoring defense was actually a product of time management on the offensive side of the ball ala Jason Garrett.
His second and last year as the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks, Quinn once again fielded the best defensive unit in the entire league. Before you get all giddy, the following year Kris Richard took over Quinn’s defensive role and the team once again ranked first in total defense.
Then Seattle Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is the actual architect of the Legion of Boom. Quinn took over in 2013 and capitalized on the product that was already at hand gives me caution when evaluating Quinn’s ability to build a defense.
In Quinn’s first year in Atlanta, he helped build a defense that was dead last the previous year on defense and made them a respectable 16th best defense in his first year. Two years later, the Falcons had a top ten defense when they ranked ninth overall in the league.
Deciding if Quinn is another Mike Nolan will depend on the talent the Dallas Cowboys acquire this offseason. Quinn has shown he can coach players but has missed when acquiring them. Doing so is easier said than done but let’s get started.