After Mike Nolan proved to be a poor fit with the Dallas Cowboys, head coach Mike McCarthy hired Dan Quinn to take over as the defensive coordinator. Quinn was once a hot name in coaching as he took the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl — but they lost despite the infamous 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots.
In Dallas, he revived his career as he turned their struggling defense into a turnover machine that knew how to get after the quarterback. Or at least that's what they were every year until the postseason.
Still, it was enough for him to become a hot name in coaching once again and the Commanders officially gave him that chance on Thursday.
The Cowboys were thrilled to keep Quinn in 2023 when it appeared he had one foot out the door but his star has lost his shine following their epic meltdown against Green Bay in the playoffs so some fans have been openly asking for him to head elsewhere. Here are some replacements Dallas should already have in its crosshairs.
4. Brandon Staley, former LA Chargers head coach
Brandon Staley doesn't have a hot name right now in the NFL. The former L.A. Rams defensive coordinator rose to prominence in 2020 when he was the defensive coordinator under Sean McVay. The Rams were No. 1 in the NFL that year in both yards and points surrendered which led to the Chargers hiring him to be their head coach.
He started with two winning seasons but his job security was questioned with L.A. blew a 27-point lead in the playoffs against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was retained for one more season and even hired Kellen Moore as the offensive coordinator.
His lame-duck coaching season ended with a thud as Staley was fired after Week 15 with a 5-9 record. What's worse is his defenses struggled in each of his three seasons with the franchise, never finishing better than 21st in points.
Still, he's proven he can do the job when he focuses solely on defense. He's sure to get another shot again in the NFL and there's a chance he could be the next Dan Quinn — a head coach who performs better as a coordinator.