N.J. native, ex-Falcons coach Dan Quinn interviews with Cowboys

Ross Houston
January 13, 2021

The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a deal in principle for Dan Quinn to become their new defensive coordinator, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

In the past, if owner Jerry Jones has honed in on a target, he lands him and that proved to be the case once again.

Quinn was sacked as Falcons coach five games into the 2020 season.

In Nolan's lone year as the defensive coordinator in Dallas, the Cowboys finished with the 23rd ranked defense in terms of yards allowed and the fifth-worst scoring defense, allowing 29.6 points per game.


The Cowboys relieved Nolan of his duties on Friday, along with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.

If the Cowboys hire Quinn, it means the team will likely shift back from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3, something the Cowboys were playing prior to Nolan's hire by Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. The 2021 goal appears to be returning to a more basic scheme.

Because the Cowboys interviewed Whitt Jr. and Simmons, they were able to move forward with the hiring of Quinn because they satisfied the NFL's updated Rooney Rule.

The Cowboys allowed the most points (473) in franchise history and gave up the second most yards and rushing yards.


Quinn was hired in Atlanta in 2015 after two seasons as Seattle's defensive coordinator. Quinn will look to invoke the performances he coordinated while in Seattle when he was part of a Super Bowl victor and had back-to-back No. 1-ranked defenses.

Quinn was 43-42 overall in Atlanta, but just 14-23 since the start of the 2018 season.

As the Falcons head coach, Quinn led the team to Super Bowl LI in the 2016 season. He was Florida's defensive coordinator for two seasons before joining the Seahawks.


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