Dallas Cowboys fans were bracing for wholesale changes to the team's coaching staff this offseason following their Wild Card loss to the Green Bay Packers. In a stunning turn of events, Jerry Jones decided to keep Mike McCarthy as head coach for the 2024 season.
There was clearly a fear among Cowboys leadership of stripping the coaching staff down to the bone. The thought of hitting the reset button is ominous, especially since no team has more wins -- regular season that is -- since the 2021 season.
That doesn't mean we agree with the decision. While we all digest the news, Dan Quinn is busy following through on interview requests this week. Quinn put forth a nightmare plan against the Packers, but it seemingly hasn't impacted his popularity during this hiring cycle.
Quinn completed an interview with the Panthers on Wednesday and will complete his rotation with the Titans, Commanders, and Chargers. After shockingly parting ways with Pete Carroll last week, the Seahawks officially requested an interview with Quinn on Monday. Quinn will likely land one of those gigs, but it sounds like his time with the Cowboys is over regardless of how the interviews go.
Bryan Broaddus of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas dropped some telling hints about Quinn's future replying to fans on social media. Broaddus doesn't think the Cowboys will have Quinn "going any further" after Sunday's loss.
Cowboys rumors: Will Cowboys fire Dan Quinn after playoff disaster?
Unlike McCarthy, the blowout loss could be the straw that broke Quinn's back. Broaddus is a former scout with the Cowboys and his intel is usually accurate. It really sounds like Quinn has overstayed his welcome with the franchise. Can you really blame Jerry Jones if that's the case?
While Quinn transformed the Cowboys defense over his three years as defensive coordinator, it struggled when it didn't generate turnovers or get sacks. It's impossible to depend on a defense that is only good when it has a lead and it failed to create a single takeaway in three of the four playoff games under Quinn's tutelage, including Sunday against the Packers when it allowed 445 yards and 7.7 yards per play.
Teams are going to make you play left-handed in the playoffs. And yet, Quinn stuck to his guns and failed to make adjustments. Matt LaFleur called a ton of motion and Quinn had zero answers, despite struggling against motion in previous games against the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree. One would think Quinn would have entered the game with a plan to combat the Packers' motion after struggling against motion all year.
Some of Quinn's mistakes were elementary, though.
We'd be shocked if Sunday's disaster ruined Quinn's chances of landing a coaching job. If he fails to get a gig, though, Broaddus dropped another hint that the Cowboys will give the defensive coordinator the boot.
The Cowboys are going to have to be better against motion and exotic concepts to get over the playoff hump. LaFleur, Kyle Shanahan and Mike McDaniel are the gold standard in that regard and Quinn is 0-6 against that trio, including a playoff loss in each of the last three seasons.
Again, Quinn has done incredible work in Dallas but there's a reason Cowboys fans won't be upset if he bolts for a head coaching job. His defense fell apart down the stretch of the regular season. They had no answer for the Seahawks and Bills and gave up critical drives against the Dolphins and Lions, when Quinn opted to play prevent defense, creating ample space in the middle of the field.
It seems like this relationship has run its course. Quinn feels destined to end up back in Seattle, but it'll be very interesting to see what happens if he doesn't land one of these jobs.