Dan Quinn is currently holding the Dallas Cowboys hostage. Not intentionally, of course, but the longer Quinn waits to the hear of his coaching future, the harder it is for the Cowboys to interview and ultimately name Quinn's replacement.
By being stuck in limbo, the Cowboys are losing out on potential replacements and upgrades at defensive coordinator. For instance, the Jaguars hired now-former Falcons DC Ryan Nielsen for the same position, while the hated Eagles poached Vic Fangio from the Dolphins after they dismissed Sean Desai.
It's a tough position, but Dallas created this mess. They could have mutually parted ways with Quinn, but they reportedly want him back if he doesn't get a job. The consensus is the Cowboys will look internally to replace Quinn, but one (terrifying) outside candidate entered the picture over the weekend.
Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys have interest in Ron Rivera, who had already interviewed for the Eagles DC job.
NFL Rumors: Cowboys interested in Ron Rivera to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator
Here's what Rapoport reported on Sunday.
“What if Dan Quinn leaves the Dallas Cowboys? Here’s an interesting one. Ron Rivera has already interviewed for the Eagles defensive coordinator job. I’m told that the Cowboys have some interest in potentially looking into Rivera as their defensive coordinator if Dan Quinn leaves. You could actually have the former Commanders coach become the Cowboys defensive coordinator.”
Could the Cowboys' interest in Rivera be a consequence of retaining Mike McCarthy and not extending the head coach? Entering 2024 in a lame duck year will make it more difficult for Dallas to hire external candidates. Coming off another disappointing season as Commanders head coach, Rivera might be the only conceivable option to replace Quinn if it comes to that.
That brings us back to Jerry Jones.
The Commanders defense was a perennial underachiever during Rivera's tenure. While Jack Del Rio served as defensive coordinator, Rivera, a former linebacker and Super Bowl champ with the Bears, is a defensive-minded coach. Washington's defense had one respectable year in four seasons under Rivera's watch.
It remains to be seen if Rivera can still call a defense. The last time Rivera was a defensive coordinator, his D (the 2010 Chargers) led the league in total defense. While notable, that was 14 years ago.
The Cowboys personnel is a significant upgrade relative to Washington's, but Rivera's defense was largely a laughingstock during his time in the nation's capital even though they had one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL with Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, DaRon Payne and Chase Young.
Dallas might just be better off if Quinn returned or promoted one of Quinn's understudy's, like Joe Whitt Jr., to replace him.
Jerry Jones really hasn't learned a darned thing.
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