Despite their recent skid, the Dallas Cowboys success this season means offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn have become popular names in head coaching rumors. During a November 10 episode of the Locked on Cowboys podcast, analysts Marcus Mosher and Landon McCool discussed who the Cowboys’ top replacement candidates are if either coordinator takes a head coaching gig.
Both believe Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy would likely first look to promote internally if the team loses either coordinator. If Quinn takes another job, senior defensive assistant George Edwards was labeled as a top replacement candidate.
Cowboys quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier could get a strong look at offensive coordinator if Moore is hired elsewhere. Mosher mentioned 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan as a “dream candidate” for offensive coordinator if he gets fired by San Francisco.
“If we are going to talk about realistic candidates, George Edwards, I think would probably be maybe above him [Al Harris], and on the offensive side of the ball I would think Doug Nussmeier probably would be your most likely candidates,” McCool detailed. “They’re not flashy, but it would be a continuation of what you see already to a large degree. …If he’s looking to make a lateral move we could always call up [Chiefs offensive coordinator] Eric Bieniemy to see what he’s got going.”
The Cowboys need to be prepared to potentially lose one or both of their coordinators heading into the 2022 season. For now, the focus will be on turning around the Cowboys’ losing streak, but the rumors are going to continue to heat up as NFL head coaches are fired.
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Moore Is a Popular Name in Head Coaching Rumors
Moore continues to be mentioned as a top candidate when the NFL coaching carousel begins this offseason. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero explained why Moore is generating some buzz around the league as a viable head coaching candidate.
“A six-year NFL backup QB who dove right into coaching as Dallas’ QB coach in 2018, Moore is highly regarded for his football IQ and creativity,” Pelissero explained on November 17. “He has already had one head-coaching interview, with the Eagles in January. Like many really young coaches, Moore has a lot to learn in terms of the whole picture of running a program. He would need a good plan for his staff and to surround himself with experienced people. But the tools are there.”
Quinn Is a Top Candidate for College Head Coaching Vacancies
After the team’s struggles during his final seasons with the Falcons, Quinn may find it challenging to land an NFL head coaching job for 2022. Quinn could find a landing spot as a college head coach. The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported that Quinn is a name to watch for college head coaching vacancies, especially given his success as Florida’s defensive coordinator.
“A former Florida defensive coordinator, the 51-year-old from New Jersey was over .500 as an NFL head coach (43-42) and was well thought of by folks at Florida,” Feldman detailed. “He’s also got a connection to Pete Carroll, which seems to be enough to get some USC sway. However, Quinn is now the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator and a key factor on a team with real Super Bowl hopes. He might be in line for another NFL head coaching run, too. At the very least, the Cowboys’ success would likely make a shot at being a college coach very, very challenging, in terms of timing.”