Marquee Dan Quinn signing already looks like a flop for Commanders

Dan Quinn probably wants this one back.
Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp
Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Dallas Cowboys fans would have wished Dan Quinn well if he landed a head coaching job with 29 other teams. Alas, Quinn was hired by the Washington Commanders. While Cowboys fans aren't necessarily rooting for Quinn's downfall, they understandably don't want him to lead Dallas' division rival out of football irrelevancy.

That might be out of Quinn's hands given that Washington is no longer owned by Dan Snyder and drafted QB Jayden Daniels with the second overall pick. Throw in the fact that Quinn spent close to $190 million in free agency and the Commanders will be expected to improve on their 2023 win total.

Of course, splurging in free agency doesn't always equate to winning. Quinn overpaid a pair of Cowboys free agents in Dorance Armstrong and Tyler Biadasz and signed a 33-year-old tight end in Zach Ertz who's played only 17 games the last two seasons.

Any of those moves could blow up in Quinn's face, but there's one marquee signing that already looks like a flop: running back Austin Ekeler.

Former Cowboys DC Dan Quinn might already be regretting signing Austin Ekeler

Appearing on the "Up and Adams Show" with Kay Adams, Ekeler gave a ludicrous reason for why he left the Chargers this offseason.

"I think you can kind of see how they've (the Chargers) been building the team so far this offseason," Ekeler told Adams. "Went out and drafted a tackle first round, brought in some bigger backs over from Baltimore. So it's like, hey, they want a guy they can hand the ball off to 300 times a year and, look, I haven't had that capacity to do that. That's not my game."

Let's make sure we have this right: Quinn signed a running back who ... doesn't want to run the football? Ekeler didn't come cheap, either. In most circumstances, a two-year, $8.25 million contract for a bell-cow back would be good business. However, Ekeler has only topped 300 touches once in his seven-year career.

It's clear Ekeler would rather catch passes out of the backfield and be used sparingly as a rusher behind bruiser Brian Robinson. That's crazy when you realize Ekeler's salary is in the same vicinity as James Conner, David Montgomery, Raheem Mostert and Aaron Jones.

Plus, Robinson isn't even your typical bell-cow. Though he has the physical profile of a workhorse, he's averaged 191.5 carries in his first two seasons, likely because of his inefficiency. In 2023, Robinson ranked 21st in rushing yards over expected (minimum 90 attempts), per Next Gen Stats.

Ekeler ranked 36th in that same category and in rushing efficiency (behind Ezekiel Elliott) and it seems like he'll have no choice but to run the football because the Commanders don't have a proven RB to make his life easier.

You think Quinn already regrets signing Ekeler?

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