The NFL’S version of the little engine that couldn’t, the Dallas Cowboys, derailed out of the playoffs early once again with a turnover filled, mistake-fest last Sunday in the NFC Divisional round against the San Francisco 49’ers. Despite boasting a loaded roster and an owner willing to spend whatever it takes, the Cowboys still found a way to underachieve. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and Zeke Elliott looked old and washed. To make matters worse, the 49’ers have a quarterback in Brock Purdy that despite being the last pick in the draft back in April, still managed to play calm, mistake free football in not allowing Dallas and their vaunted defense to force any mistakes. With their season in the books and coaching interviews happening across the league, Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been a hot name to land another head coaching position. After interviews with the Cardinals, Colts, and Broncos, Quinn has decided to stay put in Big D and see through the defensive rebuild he started before last season.
“We’re all extremely excited to have Dan back,” said head coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday afternoon. “I spoke with Dan a short while ago, and this is big for us. It gives us continuity, definitely in what we established these last two years, to build off of that. And frankly, on a personal note, I can’t tell you how thankful I am.”
“I think it’s a bunch of reasons,” McCarthy said of Quinn’s likely thought process throughout his discussions with other clubs. “I think it’s the staff, I think it’s the players and I think he’s been a head coach so he understands — at this point in his life — how hard it is to win a Super Bowl. All of those things play into that.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 26, 2023
Continuity is huge in the NFL, and the Cowboys feel fortunate to have Quinn back. Despite the failings in the post season, Quinn isn’t the problem in Dallas, Mike McCarthy is. Perhaps Quinn sees the writing on the wall and knows he would be the odds-on favorite to land the Cowboy job after next season if the Boys once again fail to deliver on the fat checks Jerry Jones is writing. Perhaps Quinn was also reminded of his time in Atlanta, where as a head coach he was fired despite having an overall winning record. Atlanta is a much more stable situation than the Colts, Cardinals or Broncos and if he fails again at the NFL level, he is likely done. The NFL is constantly pushing diversity in the coaching ranks, so recycled white guys WILL see fewer opportunities in the coming years.
It’s a massive retention for the Cowboys, who saw their defense go from worst to first in all major categories in Year 1 under Quinn (2021), only to improve on that stellar and franchise-setting production in Year 2 (2022); a trend that bodes very well for what might be on the horizon for Dallas’ defense in the not-so-distant future.
Quinn has orchestrated a massive turnaround in Dallas, and has a young, talented roster and an owner that will get him the pieces he needs. On the other hand, the other three teams are dumpster fires with garbage organizations that routinely turn over coaches. Like I said, continuity is huge. Quinn is a smart guy, and his return to Dallas is likely less about his loyalty to the star than it is about keeping himself employed long term.
featured image screen grab from embedded Tweet
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