The Dallas Cowboys re-paid coveted assistant Dan Quinn not only to continue running their demonstrably stout defense but to also internally raise the temperature of Mike McCarthy’s head seat.
Quinn one day (perhaps sooner than later) relieving McCarthy is no longer work of fantasy — it’s a possibility team brass is conscious of, if not outright plotting toward.
“He stays here because there always has been, with every coach, every one of those three coaches, have said they’d love to be the head coach of the Cowboys. Every one. Every one,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday, February 3 on 105.3 The Fan, referencing McCarthy, Quinn, and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. “So my point is that has, in my mind, a lot of logic as to why they might not take a job now rather than one or wait and see how the cards go in the future.”
Quinn, 51, arrived to Dallas with a career 46-44 record following five seasons as the Falcons boss, a tenure bolstered by Atlanta’s appearance in Super Bowl LI. In contrast to McCarthy’s 18-15 mark through two years as Cowboys HC, which includes exactly zero playoff wins, the grass appears awfully greener.
“He’s certainly qualified. He’s very qualified,” Jones said of Quinn. “Yes, I would consider. If I didn’t have a coach, I would have been interviewing him for coach.”
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In January, Quinn inked a multi-year extension with the Cowboys after drawing significant head-coaching interest from several NFL teams, two of which — Chicago and Denver — made him a finalist for their then-vacant jobs.
The 51-year-old’s transformation of Dallas’ once-moribund defense, which led the league in takeaways and finished seventh in scoring in 2021, was enough to earn Quinn another bite at the head-coaching apple. He was considered a goner … until he wasn’t. Until Jerry came calling, his pocketbook opened.
“My goal was to keep the continuity of this group together,” Jones told David Moore of the Dallas Morning News on January 28. “We met many times face to face with Dan, myself and Mike, to coordinate and talk to him.
“We were very much in a competitive environment because we felt Dan did have the opportunity to be a head coach.”
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Although McCarthy reportedly has received assurances that his job is safe for the 2022 campaign, the writing is plastered on the walls of The Star. And the rumors are hot and heavy — first from Moore assuming control, to Sean Payton stepping in, and now Quinn being postured as the heir apparent.
None of which were explicitly refuted by Jones, who instead acknowledged McCarthy’s finite time left as the ninth HC in franchise history. Time that, short of a championship, will span much shorter than his predecessor’s.
“Mike knows that someday, somebody other than him will be coach of the Cowboys,” Jones said February 3 on 105.3 The Fan.