Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was in the running for several head coaching jobs as part of the 2022 NFL coaching carousel. However, he will not be going anywhere.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday morning that Quinn informed teams he will stay in Dallas for the 2022 NFL season.
Quinn had either been interviewed or requested to be interviewed by six of the nine teams with coaching vacancies: the Broncos, Bears, Dolphins, Giants, Jaguars and Vikings. He was a finalist for both the Broncos and Bears jobs before those two teams hired Nathaniel Hackett and Matt Eberflus as their next coaches.
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It seemed like Quinn, who coached the Falcons from 2015 through 2020, would land one of the available jobs. So, why did he elect to stay with the Cowboys?
According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Quinn is staying in Dallas for a couple of reasons. Team owner Jerry Jones wanted him back and Quinn thoroughly enjoyed his first season coaching with the Cowboys.
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn confirmed to me that he has, indeed, told teams that he’s decided to stay in Dallas. Returned to town last night after interviewing with the Bears.
The Joneses love him and wanted him back badly. And he had more fun coaching last year than he has in years. https://t.co/fcW7GrF59g
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 27, 2022
It’s easy to understand why the Cowboys wanted Quinn back so badly. The Cowboys were a bottom-five scoring defense and had one of the NFL’s worst run defenses under Mike Nolan in 2020. Quinn resurrected the defense in 2021, turning it into a top-10 scoring unit that was solid against both the run and pass.
Quinn turned first-round pick Micah Parsons into a do-it-all player on the defensive front who is a shoo-in to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Meanwhile, he also developed Randy Gregory and Trevon Diggs, among others, into key playmakers for the unit.
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Quinn also explained late in the regular season that he wouldn’t take a head coaching job just to have it. It would have had to be “the right scenario.”
“I think for me coming here, I wasn’t coming here to look at what my next job would be,” Quinn said, per ESPN. “I wanted to come in here and have a blast and hopefully kick ass and make an impact. … If those moments come, I’ll be ready for them if the right scenario came about but honestly I’m having a blast right here with this crew and going for it. That’s where my mind is, that’s where my heart is. I don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about down the road or what’s next. I just like really being in the moment with the guys.”
Evidently, Quinn didn’t view any of those openings as the right scenario. Or perhaps he was interested in the Broncos and Bears jobs, for which he was a finalist, but things didn’t work out. That would explain why his return to Dallas was reported shortly after Eberflus was hired.
Either way, Quinn is ultimately going back to Dallas. The Cowboys will avoid having to find their fourth defensive coordinator in as many years thanks to his return.
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