The New York Giants have yet to select a new head coach, but the team was able to cross a top candidate’s name off its list Thursday.
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator (DC) Dan Quinn announced on January 27 that he would remain in that position, despite having interviewed for several head coaching jobs across the league with the likes of the Giants, the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears.
Tom Pelissero, of NFL Network, took to Twitter to report the details of Quinn’s decision.
“Dan Quinn has informed teams that he’s staying with the #Cowboys, per sources,” Pelissero wrote. “Six teams requested head coaching interviews with Quinn, who decided he wanted to return to Dallas and try to win a Super Bowl. He should be a hot name again next year.”
Quinn’s Sudden Pivot Points to Notion He Didn’t Want Giants Job
The precise motivations behind Quinn’s decision to pull his name out of the running for the head coaching job in New York, as well as several others, may never be known to their full extent. But the idea that Quinn’s sole reason for withdrawing his candidacy from six different teams was so he could wrap up unfinished business in Dallas strains credulity — primarily because of the incredibly impressive NFL track record he has built over the last decade.
Quinn was the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks during that franchise’s Super Bowl glory days back in 2013 and 2014. He took the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons the following season, and in 2016-17 led that team to a 28-3 Super Bowl lead against the New England Patriots before squandering it in the second half and ultimately losing in overtime.
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Quinn remained the head coach in Atlanta until he was fired last year, after which he immediately took over as the Cowboys defensive coordinator and was part of a playoff run that included an NFC East Division championship.
In other words, Quinn has something of a rockstar NFL resumé and may simply be waiting for the opportunity he deems best. He was named one of three finalists for the Broncos job before they landed on Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, presumably in an attempt to also lure QB Aaron Rodgers into the fold. Quinn was also under heavy consideration in Chicago before the Bears decided to hire former Indianapolis Colts DC Matt Eberflus Thursday.
One possible scenario is that Quinn favored those jobs over the others for which he was being considered, including the Giants head coaching spot. In that case, he might be biding his time for what he would consider a better opportunity.
Another scenario is that Quinn has already been passed up for two jobs he presumably wanted and that the Giants, as well as other franchises, might do the same. Those developments could theoretically hurt Quinn’s head coaching candidacy in the future or, at the very least, prove an embarrassing blow to his ego and football reputation.
Daboll Considered Favorite in New York, as Giants Narrow Search
One thing is for certain, while Quinn may have been the perceived leader in the clubhouse with other organizations, he did not hold that distinction when it came to New York’s head coaching position.
Jordan Raanan, of ESPN NFL Nation, took to Twitter to lay out the Giants head coaching candidates and where they stood as of Thursday.
“So Dan Quinn back to Dallas. Giants options appear to be Brian Daboll, Brian Flores and Leslie Frazier,” Raanan wrote. “Good chance the Giants have a new head coach named Brian by the weekend.”
Of the two Brians in question, Daboll appears to have the inside track. The Bills offensive coordinator was the first of the head coaching candidates to sit down with New York’s front office leadership for a second interview, which he did earlier this week. Beyond that, Daboll spent the last four seasons working alongside new Giants general manager (GM) Joe Schoen, who the team hired to that position less than a week ago after he spent a five-year stint as the Bills assistant GM.
For what it’s worth, Frazier also has a strong relationship with Schoen, having served as the defensive coordinator in Buffalo over the previous five seasons. However, Daboll has consistently been named the leading candidate for the job by New York media members with a line into the Giants front office.
Flores, the other Brian noted above by Raanan, had his first meeting with Schoen and Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch on Thursday.