Dan Quinn has made his final decision. The 51-year-old entered the offseason following the Dallas Cowboys disappointing loss on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend as one of the hottest candidates in the league's coaching cycle, but things have changed rapidly and in favor of the Cowboys. On Thursday, after having interviewed with several teams and seeing the Denver Broncos opt to hire Nathaniel Hackett while the Chicago Bears moved to hire Matt Eberflus -- two teams Quinn was a/the frontrunner to join -- he's now notified the Cowboys he will remain their defensive coordinator for the 2022 season, sources confirm to CBS Sports.
Needless to say, this is a gargantuan keep for the Cowboys, a team that saw Quinn flip their defense from literal worst to first in the span of only one season, and who helped instantly turn rookie linebacker Micah Parsons and second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs into record-setting talents at their respective position. Quinn often noted just how much he loved his current situation in Dallas and would only leave if "the right" opportunity presented itself, and he'll now wait to re-enter the coaching cycle one year from now to see what's available.
And if he can duplicate and/or improve upon the instant success he had in Year 1 with the Cowboys, one that led him to earn honors as 2021 PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year, there is no doubt teams will again reach out to him for some robust conversations.
Quinn leads a defense that led the league with 34 takeaways and set a franchise record with six defensive touchdowns, and after years of the Cowboys struggling in that category. His most recent stint as a head coach ended unceremoniously when he was dismissed from the role by the Atlanta Falcons during the 2020 season, before landing in Dallas to rebuild his brand as a coordinator -- the role that launched him to fame by way of the Seattle Seahawks, when he helped engineer and lead the fame "Legion of Boom" defense that helped the team win a Super Bowl.
If the Cowboys can retain key defensive talent in free agency to keep the band mostly together, Quinn will have a shot at creating another iteration of the once-dominant defense in Seattle. And, from there, he'll have his pick of the litter in opportunities to ascend back to the role of NFL head coach.