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NFL Rumors: Dallas Cowboys hire Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator

Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn
Modified 12 Jan 2021, 12:50 IST

The Dallas Cowboys hired Dan Quinn as their new defensive coordinator on January 11th, after a short search. The position opened up when the Cowboys fired former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on January 8th after a disappointing 2020 season.

Nolan was responsible for overseeing a Cowboys defense that was so poor that it set records in multiple defensive categories, leading some to declare that this season's version of the Cowboys may have been their worst defense in franchise history.

The Cowboys have some talent on the defensive side of the ball, so Dan Quinn will enter a historic organization and be welcomed into a situation where reshaping the defense can immediately lead to a division title, given the state of the paltry NFC East.

NFL Rumors: Who is Dan Quinn?

Dan Quinn is a 50 year old NFL coaching veteran, getting his first job in the League as a member of San Francisco's staff in 2001 and staying employed as a defensive line coach for the Dolphins, the Jets, and the Seahawks.

Seattle also gave Dan Quinn the title of assistant head coach during his time there between 2009 and 2010. 2011 saw Quinn return to the NCAA as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach for the Florida Gators, his first career experience as a defensive playcaller. Quinn returned to the NFL after the 2012 season, being rehired in Seattle, this time as the defensive coordinator.

Dan Quinn held the position of defensive coordinator of the Seahawks through the 2014 season until he was hired as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons on February 2nd, 2015. Quinn coached the Falcons into 2020, finishing his tenure with a 43-42 record, including 2 playoff appearances, with one of those being the infamous comeback loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Dan Quinn was fired by the Falcons after the team started 0-5 during the 2020 season, which was the first time the team had lost 5 straight to begin the season since 1997. Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were fired at the same time.

Quinn's defensive scheme is more of the traditional 4-3 scheme that Cowboys fans have become accustomed to. Dan Quinn's version of the 4-3 Under defense features 4 down linemen and employs a Cover 3 Zone strategy in the defensive secondary.


One of Mike Nolan's biggest criticisms as the Cowboys' DC was that his scheme was overly complicated, making it difficult for players to pick up under normal circumstances, let alone over the course of a COVID plagued season that presented unprecedented challenges to all 32 franchises.

Dan Quinn's defense figures seem to be easier to learn, and thus easier to execute, leaving Cowboys fans with hopes that the defensive troubles that plagued the team this season are a thing of the past.

Published 12 Jan 2021, 12:50 IST
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