FRISCO, Texas — Dan Quinn has made a decision regarding his NFL future. The defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys is expected to accept the role of head coach for the Washington Commanders, per multiple reports that include NFL.com, a move that sends shockwaves in all directions.
He replaces Ron Rivera, whom the Commanders parted ways with this offseason.
For the Cowboys, it will now be about sorting through their defensive staff to determine who might depart to join Quinn as well as who might remain and potentially be promoted or moved into new roles.
The 53-year-old underwent a tour of interviews around the league over the several days — several teams being interested in making him their latest head coach — and that included clubs such as the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks and even the Washington Commanders.
And while the most recent outing from his defense in Dallas stands as a black eye to his resume as a defensive coordinator, it's one of the very few.
Quinn joined the Cowboys in that role following a divorce from the Atlanta Falcons, as their head coach at the time, and the decision by head coach Mike McCarthy to part ways with Mike Nolan after just one season. Quinn swiftly changed not only the level of on-field production but also the culture of thinking on positions like safety, as one example.
His defense has consistently led the league in both quarterback pressures and takeaways — turning players like cornerbacks Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland into historic NFL figures.
He's overseen the ascension of historic defensive talent like Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland, the latter being supremely impressive when weighing all of the variables that were working against him; and the fact he's only entering Year 3 in the league.
The defense in Dallas ultimately left much to be desired on Super Wild Card Weekend against Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers, but it's also true that, on more than one occasion, the Cowboys had become a team whose success was driven by the explosiveness of that very defense.
Over each of the past three seasons, it's made Quinn one of the most sought-after coaches in each offseason cycle but, in the previous two iterations, Quinn opted to stay put with the Cowboys.
This time around, he'll depart to try his hand at head coaching for the second time in his decorated NFL coaching career and, in the process, guarantee himself a matchup against the Cowboys at least twice each season going forward.