Dan Quinn had multiple opportunities to potentially become an NFL head coach again this offseason, but he chose to return to the Cowboys as the team’s defensive coordinator. That is because he likely knows he’ll soon be the Cowboys’ head coach.
That was made painfully clear as team owner Jerry Jones strongly suggested while addressing reporters this week, saying Quinn would “love” the job and is qualified for it, while acknowledging that current coach Mike McCarthy won’t always hold his current position.
McCarthy, who just finished his second season on the job, received assurances in January that he’d remain the coach for the 2022 season, despite having a good regular season just for the team to lose in their first playoff game to the 49ers.
Calling Quinn’s return to the defensive coordinator job “a major coup,” the owner said he wanted other teams interested in Quinn “to be thinking that they were talking to a guy who could be head coach of the Cowboys.”
“(Quinn) stays here because … every one of those three coaches have said they’d love to be the head coach of the Cowboys,” Jones said. “Every one. Every one. So my point is that has, in my mind, a lot of logic as to why they might not take a job now rather than … wait and see how the cards go in the future.”
“He’s certainly qualified,” Jones said of Quinn. “He’s very qualified. Yes, I would consider … if I didn’t have a coach, I would have been interviewing him for coach.” When asked to clarify whether those comments might be disruptive to McCarthy, Jones just doubled down on his statement.
“Mike knows that someday, somebody other than him will be coach of the Cowboys,” Jones said.
McCarthy has an 18-15 regular-season record in two seasons, including a 12-5 mark in 2021 that saw the Cowboys win the NFC East; however, they were the only home team to lose in the first round of the playoffs.
2022 should be much of the same as the Cowboys are far better than any other team in the putrud NFC East, which might see them run the table again and go undefeated in the division.