3 rumored Cowboys defensive coordinator candidates ranked from worst to best

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The Dallas Cowboys will have some turnover on their coaching staff after all, as Dan Quinn was hired to be the next head coach of the Washington Commanders. In a perfect world, the Cowboys would have looked internally to replace Quinn. That would've allowed for a seamless transition post-Quinn.

However, all signs point to defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. becoming Quinn's defensive coordinator in Washington. That comes as a surprise, as Whitt is on the record saying becoming the Cowboys' DC was his dream job.

Things change, though, and now the Cowboys will likely look outside the organization for Quinn's replacement. They already have one interview lined up with a polarizing candidate, but other names have been floated by team reporters.

More candidates could join the running when all is said and done. Until those folks enter the picture, let's rank the candidates that we know are being considered from worst to best, shall we?

3. Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera was the first name mentioned to replace Dan Quinn, with David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reporting he's due for an interview next week. Rivera is by far the least popular rumored candidate among fans, as his Washington defenses underperformed in all but one season during his tenure as head coach.

That's despite the Commanders investing a lot of draft capital into their defense. This past season, they ranked dead-last in points and yards allowed per game.

Again, we're talking about a defense that up until this year's trade deadline boasted four first-round picks on the defensive line, including Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat, Chase Young and DaRon Payne. In the secondary, they had the perennially underrated Kendall Fuller and a future Pro Bowler at safety in Kamren Curl.

The defense wasn't bereft of talent, and yet Rivera couldn't accentuate its potential. Not a great look for a defensive-minded coach. Yes, Rivera had success as a defensive coordinator early in his coaching career, but that was 14 years ago. He might be a strong leader and command respect in the locker room, but that's far from the only qualification needed to be deserving of the job.