Cowboys pick ex-Atlanta coach Quinn as defensive coordinator

Here’s what Cowboys are getting in new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Here’s what Cowboys are getting in new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Of course, as the Cowboys know, Quinn is most recently known for his tenure as the head coach of the Falcons from 2015-2020.

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.

Before Quinn became the Falcons' head coach in 2015, he was the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks, where he helped Seattle make two Super Bowl appearances, winning one of them.

The Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on Friday after only one season on Mike McCarthy's coaching staff. Dallas' goal of being less predictable defensively proved to be too hard of a task during a pandemic. Dallas allowed a franchise-record 473 points (29.6 per game) and finished 31st in the National Football League in run defense while going 6-10. Owner Jerry Jones suggested the Cowboys tried to change too much given the restrictions brought on by COVID-19.

The 2020 goal was for the Cowboys defense to be more multiple and less vanilla.

McCarthy never called the Dallas scheme a 3-4, although it was closer to that than the 4-3 approach that figures to return with Quinn. Quinn, who was sacked from the Falcons during the 2020 season, is one of three known candidates who is being considered for the job. And in steps Quinn, who's had success as a defensive coordinator in the NFL.

The Falcons reached the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history in Quinn's second season. The Falcons were leading the game 28-3 in the third quarter, but allowed the New England Patriots to come back and win the game 34-28 in overtime.

Quinn was 43-42 overall in Atlanta, but just 14-23 since the start of the 2018 season. He was Florida's defensive coordinator for two seasons before joining the Seahawks.

Earlier on Monday, Rapoport reported Quinn was on a flight to Dallas to meet with Cowboys brass and the meeting clearly went well as Quinn will join head coach Mike McCarthy's staff.

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