FRISCO, Texas — There's been another shakeup on the defensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys, though not an entirely surprising one. With the decision by Dan Quinn to take over the role of head coach for the Washington Commanders last week, the potential fallout included the possibility of losing Joe Whitt, Jr. to that organization as well.
On Sunday, that scenario became reality when Whitt officially accepted an offer from Quinn to join him in Washington — a move that promotes him from secondary coach and pass game coordinator in Dallas to defensive coordinator or the Commanders.
Foregoing his scheduled interview on Monday morning, he heads to the nation's capital instead.
Whitt joined the Cowboys in 2021 alongside Quinn, the duo having spent the 2020 season together with the Atlanta Falcons, where the latter was head coach at the time.
Whitt also has a longstanding relationship with Mike McCarthy from their time together with the Green Bay Packers, where the former served as cornerbacks coach before being moved up to defensive passing game coordinator.
That relationship, along with his bond with Quinn, allowed Whitt to hit the ground running in Dallas — quietly helping Quinn to orchestrate a defensive unit that excelled in pressuring the quarterback and in taking the ball away.
The 45-year-old will now get his first-ever shot at coordinating an entire defense, albeit that of an NFC East division rival that McCarthy and the Cowboys will face at least twice per season.
And, with that, the Cowboys will now face questions on what other defensive coaches will or will not remain in Dallas for 2024 — most notably cornerbacks coach Al Harris and defensive line coach Aden Durde (who interviews for the role of Cowboys' defensive coordinator on Monday) — along with the list of other position coaches.
With interviews set for candidates such as Mike Zimmer and Ron Rivera as well, a hiring of an outside candidate could lead to sweeping changes on that side of the ball this offseason; or rather even more than Dallas has already witnessed in only a few weeks after their latest exit from the playoffs.