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The end of the regular season brings with it the start of a hiring cycle across the NFL. With some teams already having vacancies and more expected to come, candidates are soon starting to line up to try and ascend to a head-coaching role, which could include Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. The veteran coach, who turned down opportunities last offseason to return to Dallas, is expected to be a hot candidate this go around, but he will also have to balance his current team's pursuit of a deep playoff run this postseason as well. 

"I think it's important to know how to compartmentalize," Quinn said, via the official team website. "Fortunately for me in that space, any preparation you would do on that is done over the summertime. If and when that time gets called, I would certainly be ready to discuss that at a moment's notice. It's pretty easy these days to compartmentalize. Quite honestly, the guys that I'm able to coach are a big reason why I wanted to be back here, so I'm not gonna let that moment miss one second."

Quinn, who arrived in Dallas in 2021, also explained why he decided to stay with the Cowboys last offseason and didn't rule out the possibility that he would remain with the franchise through this hiring cycle as well. 

"I didn't want to see anybody else coaching these guys, and there was unfinished business in my mind," Quinn said. "That was a big reason for me knowing that I had unfinished business with them, and I wanted to see that through as much as I could. I absolutely feel that way again. It's easy to compartmentalize when you stay here now. I live my life in that space anyway, so it's not as complicated as you might think."

Quinn was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 to 2020 and helped the team reach Super Bowl LI. Before that, he was the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks from 2013 to 2014 and helped lead a defense that won Super Bowl XLVIII, so he'll have plenty of experience if/when he decides to meet with teams about a head-coaching opening. 

In the meantime, Quinn is looking to help the Cowboys clinch the NFC East with a win over the Commanders on Sunday and then march into the postseason for what the franchise hopes to be its first Super Bowl title since 1995.