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Will Dan Quinn be an NFL head coach in 2023?

We discuss whether an NFL team will hire Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and which opening fits him best.

Chicago Bears v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has turned this Dallas Cowboys defense into one of the best defenses they have had in a while. Quinn has a ton of experience and many think he should get another head coaching opportunity with the way he’s improved this Dallas defense.

Update — Quinn has informed interested teams that he will remain the DC of the Cowboys, per reports.

Who is Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn?

Quinn has coached for some time. He was a defensive assistant at multiple FCS schools from 1994-2000. He then got opportunity in the NFL as he was with the San Francisco 49ers for four years as a defensive quality control coach and defensive line coach. For the next six years, he served as the defensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and Seattle Seahawks.

He went back to college form 2011-2012 and was the defensive coordinator at Florida. The Seattle Seahawks then hired him as there defensive coordinator where he served that position for two years before being hired as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He was there from 2015-2020 and made a Super Bowl appearance there. He was fired midway through the 2020 season. In 2021, the Cowboys hired him as their defensive coordinator.

Why would he make a good head coach?

Experience. He took the Falcons to the Super Bowl during his last tenure as head coach. In just his first year with the Cowboys, Quinn won the Assistant Coach of the Year Award in the NFL. The way he’s transformed this defense into a powerhouse is incredible. They have some strong pieces, but three years ago they were one of the worst in the NFL. Quinn would make any team he goes to have a better defense. His schemes are impressive and he will get pressure on a quarterback wherever.

The big question would be who he’d hire as his offensive coordinator. He needs to get someone that can turn an offense around. A few openings seem to have good offensive situations, but need a good play caller. I don't see the Broncos as a place the Quinn will be hired, but that will be interesting to see. Both Cowboys coordinators could interview for the job.

Which teams are interviewing him?

Denver Broncos

Update 1/12- Quinn will officially meet with team officials in Los Angeles for an interview next Tuesday. It’ll be a quick turnaround for Quinn as his the Cowboys will have their Wild Card round matchup against the Buccaneers the night before and how far they make it in the playoffs will affect his ability to hit the ground running.

As mentioned before, just the experience he possesses would make him an instant upgrade over Nathaniel Hackett and he has the respect of several former players in his previous stops. In a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Davante Adams, it would not hurt to have a defensive minded head coach who could unleash pieces like Bradley Chubb. But once again, the biggest question mark would be his offensive coordinator and how they would help mitigate the decline of quarterback Russell Wilson.

Update 1/8- Quinn was at one point considered the frontrunner for the Broncos job last year and the Broncos have requested permission to interview him again in this cycle. Quarterback Russell Wilson mentioned him as a potential candidate and there’s a previous relationship there from their time in Seattle.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are in major need of improvement, and mostly with the coaching staff. Their defense was drastically impacted by questionable schemes, but it also appeared that the personnel didn’t rally around defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as much as what was initially expected. While the organization hasn’t completely ruled out Bradley returning for another year to work with the defense, the interviews are coming in at a rapid rate.

Quinn might just be the answer to the Colts’ woes on defense. He’s done a fantastic job helping the Cowboys defense improve throughout the 2022-23 season, and could do the same with the Colts if they retain some of their current defensive stars. The Colts have a great group of cornerbacks that could benefit from Quinn’s hybrid 4-3, and 3-4 scheme that has worked tremendously for the likes of Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs this year.

Quinn’s Dallas defense ended up being the difference-maker in the Cowboys’ 31-14 Wild Card victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Monday, so his resume is continuing to grow, and Indianapolis has clearly taken notice.