Dan Quinn had multiple opportunities to potentially become an NFL head coach again this offseason before returning to the Cowboys as the team's defensive coordinator. That's partly because there's a good chance he'll soon be the Cowboys' head coach. Or at least that's what 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 the post.
McCarthy, who just finished his second season on the job, received assurances in January that he'd remain the coach for the 2022 season, according to CBS Sports' Patrik Walker, albeit with expectations of a deeper playoff run next year. Jones, meanwhile, has been a bit less publicly committal than CEO Stephen Jones, and his comments this week were another reminder. 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."
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Jones, of course, acknowledged that McCarthy is the guy for now, and that he's comfortable with the former Packers coach entering 2022 atop the staff. But he repeatedly left the door open for Quinn, the ex-Falcons head coach, to take over. His first hint came when referencing Quinn alongside former assistants Jason Garrett and Sean Payton, who were once also sought by other teams as potential head coaches.
"(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."
Like in Dallas, which just finished a 12-5 season and its first playoff appearance in three years?
"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." Asked to clarify whether those comments might be disruptive to McCarthy, who currently holds the job, Jones doubled down on the notion things are fluid at the top of the staff.
"Mike knows that someday, somebody other than him will be coach of the Cowboys," Jones said.