NFL coaching bombshell may have decided Dan Quinn's fate with Cowboys

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions
Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported over the weekend that this hiring cycle could end with an unexpected shuffle. Would Dan Quinn, the original consensus favorite for the Seahawks job, lose out and return as the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator for another season?

A simple reading of the tea leaves suggests Ravens defensive guru Mike Macdonald has leapfrogged Quinn as the favorite for the Seahawks lob, but Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was still in the mix for Seattle as well.

However, everyone thought Johnson was a lock to take the Commanders job. With new ownership looking to dig Washington out of football purgatory, the 37-year-old Johnson seemed like the perfect man to lead that rebuild. He'd also have the No. 2 overall pick, draft capital galore and ample cap space.

In a stunning turn of events, Johnson won’t become a head coach after all. He’s elected to stay in Detroit amid interest from Washington and Seattle. This opens the door for Quinn to become the Commanders next head coach.

Ben Johnson news opens door for Cowboys' Dan Quinn to become Commanders head coach

Considered a lock to become a head coach at the start of the hiring cycle after another representative season as Lions OC, Johnson reportedly wants one more crack at bringing a Lombardi Trophy to the city of Detroit. However, reports indicate Johnson's asking price "spooked" some teams.

Quinn, meanwhile, is a finalist for both remaining vacancies so the odds of him leaving the Cowboys has suddenly increased tenfold. How ironic, right? Fans had just convinced themselves that Quinn would be returning. Of course, in that hypothetical, Macdonald would get the Seahawks gig and Washington would hire Johnson.

Now, all options are back on the table. 

Quinn reportedly had his follow-up interview with the Commanders on Tuesday. He left without signing a contract, but that's no surprise. After all, the Johnson news likely took Washington's leadership for a loop and they have a number of other candidates to consider.

The Commanders have sought second interviews with Macdonald and Raves assistant coach/defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, as well as Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. They've also interviewed Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik.

Again, Johnson was considered the presumptive favorite and we know Quinn is highly respected around the league.

We'll see what today's shocker means for Quinn's future, but he's suddenly back in the mix for the Commanders job. If he does get the job, will the Cowboys promote Joe Whitt Jr. to defensive coordinator, or possibly hire former Commanders head coach Ron Rivera to run their defense? And which Cowboys assistants will Quinn take with him?

All of these questions will have answers soon enough.

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