Dan Quinn entered this offseason as one of the most sought-after coordinators to land a head coaching job given the mass amount of open slots across the league. His work in just one year in Dallas has been so substantial that he immediately became hot property. That begged the question. Would he stay in Dallas?
Well, we got our answer that he is in fact staying put with Dallas but before going into that let’s take a look at where he could’ve ended up in 2022 and why.
Could Dan Quinn have had a head coaching job for 2022
Well to answer that question very bluntly, yes. Quinn is more than qualified as well as capable to lead a team from the front as he’s proven on multiple occasions in the past. To start, there was his excellent work in Seattle with Pete Caroll to form the ‘Legion of Boom’ that helped bring the first Lombardi Trophy to the Pacific Northwest as well as take them to another Super Bowl where he would’ve had two wins in a row if it wasn’t for Malcom Butler. His time there lead to him getting the top spot in Atlanta where as their head coach he brought them to a super bowl as well and was one half away from getting himself a 3rd ring.
The move to Dallas after getting fired from Atlanta in 2020 was as it turned out, just what Quinn needed. It was an opportunity to once again prove himself in the position that he became best known for, defensive coordinator. He took over one of the worst defensive units in 2020 and completely turned them around in just one season.
Their best showing came in the form of turnovers and defensive touchdowns. Both areas that the team struggled with last season. Now, it wasn’t a perfect transition as evidenced by the second most defensive penalties committed which really came back to bite them in their wild card matchup, but, it has only been one season and you can expect the defense to only get better in 2022.
In terms of where Dan Quinn could have gone, while there were seven head coaching vacancies, the two main options were Denver and Chicago. Quinn had reportedly liked both situations and interviewed with both teams following the Cowboys’ wild card loss. It’s likely that Denver would’ve been the better option as while they haven’t been a winning franchise since 2015, they’ve done a solid job in terms of roster building and have a genuinely good team. Their major gap is quarterback and now that Aaron Rodgers could hit the open market, expect him to be a major target for them.
In a scenario where Quinn joins Denver and they heavily pursue Rodgers and get him, that is a team built to win immediately. They have some young talent on both sides of the ball mixed in with good veteran playmakers that’ll be there when they need them most. Of course, we now know that this is all just a fantasy as Quinn has elected to stay with Dallas for 2022 so let’s take a look at why that’s happened.
Why Dan Quinn is staying with the Cowboys
The decision to stay with the Cowboys for 2022 as their defensive coordinator was made recently by Quinn himself. It’s worth noting that Quinn has previously expressed his content with the Cowboys organization and his situation. He has said that he would only move on if the right opportunity presented itself.
Given his interest in both Denver and Chicago and that they’ve both chosen to go in different directions with Denver hiring Nathaniel Hackett and Chicago hiring Matt Eberflus, one can only assume that the right opportunity simply wasn’t offered to Quinn this offseason.
All hope isn’t lost for Dan Quinn in terms of finding himself in the head coach spot again. In fact, staying with the Cowboys again provides a huge opportunity to once again prove himself. If his defense can continue to grow and develop and replicate the success of the 2021 season, it makes Quinn an even better prospect for the big job next offseason.
The where and how of that is something only time will tell but one thing we know for sure, Dan Quinn has a prove it season right now, somewhat like a player in a contract year. The more success he has this season, the more his stock rises. If things go his way, he could have just about every available team clamoring over him to takeover come 2023.