In one season’s time, Dan Quinn turned the Dallas Cowboys’ defense from a laughingstock to a driving force in the club winning the NFC East title.
That remarkable reversal of fortune in Quinn’s first season as Dallas defensive coordinator led to him being named AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year on Thursday at NFL Honors.
The former Atlanta Falcons head coach got the most out of the Cowboys’ star power, as evidenced by cornerback Trevon Diggs (NFL-high 11 interceptions), linebacker Micah Parsons (rookie-best 13 sacks) and pass rusher Randy Gregory (tied career high with six sacks in 12 games).
The Cowboys’ offense finished the season ranked first in the NFL and it’s arduous to imagine that would’ve come to be if not for the opportunistic Dallas defense, which led the NFL with 34 takeaways.
In 2020, the Cowboys were 28th in the league in points allowed and finished 6-10.
In 2021 with Quinn in the mix, Dallas was seventh in points allowed and finished 12-5 to earn its first playoff berth since 2018.
Despite myriad interviews for head coaching vacancies around the league, Quinn has elected to stay with the Cowboys, and that bodes well for them in 2022 with the assistant of the year once again leading the Dallas D.