It didn't take long for Dallas to find its next defensive coordinator as Dan Quinn and the Cowboys have reached an agreement for the former Falcons coach to take on the role heading into 2021, CBS Sports Cowboys Insider Patrik Walker confirms. The hiring of Quinn comes in the aftermath of Dallas firing defensive coordinator Mike Nolan at the end of last week after one season with the club, but the team may have had a wandering eye for a new DC even before officially showing him the door.
As Walker reported earlier on Monday, Jerry Jones and the Dallas brass had already begun looking at candidates prior to letting Nolan go, which allowed them to jump right into the search over the weekend and eventually find their way to Quinn. His formal interview occurred on Monday after a virtual interview on Saturday and it appears as he showed enough during those chats for the Cowboys to work swiftly to lock him into that key role within their club.
Most recently, Quinn served as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, a role which he started beginning in 2015 and held until midway through 2020 where he was fired after a 0-5 start. For his career, Quinn owns a 46-44 record as a head coach and has some strong pedigree as a DC, helping lead Seattle's defensive unit during the Legion of Boom era and a Super Bowl XLVIII title.
That blend of head coaching experience and elite acumen on the defensive side of the ball should help Dallas improve upon what was a less-than-stellar campaign on that side of the ball.
Under Nolan, Dallas allowed 29.6 points per game, which ranked as the fifth-highest in the league. The Cowboys also gave up 158.8 rushing yards per game, which was the second-most in the NFL over the course of the regular season. Those struggles on defense with Nolan at the helm, as Walker reported back on Dec. 20, had Jerry Jones "secretly fuming behind the scenes for weeks" so it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Nolan got the ax.
From here, Jones, McCarthy, and Quinn can turn their attention to filling the defensive line role that is still vacant following the firing of Jim Tomsula. Once that is complete and the rest of the staff is solidified, Dallas can zero in on revamping the personnel so that they can be a more formidable force next season.