Before coming to the Dallas Cowboys to serve as defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn held many other jobs in the NFL. From 2001 to today, Quinn has held positions with the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and was best known for being the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for five seasons.
This means the coordinator has connections to many players around the league, which could help the Cowboys secure some players in free agency. Despite whether you think it was Jerry Jones’ elaborate scheme that made Quinn sign a new contract with Dallas or you just think Quinn didn’t like the leftover available head coaching jobs, there’s no denying that signing Quinn was a very important offseason move for the Cowboys.
Quinn was a key part of the huge turnaround in the Cowboys’ defense. Whatever he does with those players, it’s working. Several players have praised Quinn for his coaching style and credited him with their growth throughout the 2021-22 season. That’s why many weren’t surprised that his name was often in the mix for job vacancies.
If people like the guy this much, you’d think people may even come to Dallas just to play for him. There are some free agents out there who the Cowboys could really use who have some kind of prior connection with Quinn. Could he bring them to the Lone Star State?
Free agents with connections to Dan Quinn who he could pull to the Dallas Cowboys
4. Dante Fowler Jr., DE
Dante Fowler Jr. is currently a defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons. Quinn was his coach in his final season with Atlanta. While Fowler did not have a phenomenal year (mostly due to injury) he did play with a team that seemed to struggle overall. In 14 games he had 4.5 sacks, 36 combined tackles, six tackles for loss, and eight QB hits. Unfortunately, this probably wasn’t the production Atlanta wanted given they were paying him over $10 million this year.
But, Fowler is a classic case of a guy who just may not be with the right team. To be fair to him, he did lead the Falcons in sacks and sack yards and was second in tackles for loss. Fowler has also shined in the past with another squad. In 2019, he had an 11.5 sack season with the Los Angeles Rams.
With names like Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, Francis Bernard, and Leighton Vander Esch all on the Cowboys free agent list, Dallas could use a guy like Fowler. He will likely come with a lower price tag, which is a huge benefit considering the Cowboys are struggling with cap space. Fowler would also probably like to continue his career under a coach who has proven he can shape many defensive players.
He’s not a flashy choice, but Fowler is a guy who could benefit from being on a defense that is hungry to continue improving.