3 Cowboys’ assistants mentioned as potential NFL head coaches

The downside of taking the league by storm, throttling opposing defenses in creatively-fueled point-and-yardage explosions, stifling enemy offenses with a blitzing swarm of takeaway specialists, and becoming the trendy midseason pick for a Super Bowl appearance is that all the other teams start looking to the coaches responsible. Maybe one of those successful staffers is just the spark needed to turn a foundering franchise around by handing them their own keys to a kingdom.

Even if the Cowboys fall flat on their faces for the remaining eight games of their season, they’ve shown enough tantalizing potential during their first nine to draw sizable interest from teams who’ll be making a change in the offseason.

NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero looked across the league and throughout the college ranks to identify the assistants who may be due to get their own shot in 2022. Not surprisingly, several Cowboys staffers made the list.

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Quinn is an obvious choice for someone to interview. The 51-year-old has been a head coach before, at his most recent stop of Atlanta. A sharp defensive mind who came up through the ranks, he made a name for himself as the architect of Seattle’s famed Legion of Boom unit. In his first season there, the Seahawks ranked No. 1 in fewest points allowed, fewest yards allowed, and takeaways. The first team since the 1985 Bears to accomplish that feat, they went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII.

That success earned Quinn the head job in Atlanta. Under his watch, the team made the Super Bowl in just his second season and were 23 minutes away from a championship when they suffered an epic collapse. Quinn coached 53 more games for the Falcons before being fired in early 2020.

Now in his first season with the Cowboys, Quinn has quickly turned around the worst defense in franchise history. His players love him, he convinced several former players to follow him to Dallas, he’s made brilliant moves…


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