FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys' first-round playoff loss to San Francisco will sting throughout the offseason and perhaps longer.
But the club did find some solace late this week by retaining Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator -- a move described by Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones as a "huge victory."
"To be able to maintain him and the continuity involved with our team is, in my mind, worth moving mountains for, and I think we did," Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Friday.
Jones didn't get into specifics regarding Quinn's contract but said Quinn is "staying and being our coordinator for years to come."
The Cowboys hired Quinn last January to revamp a 2020 defense that allowed the most points and second-most rushing yards in franchise history. Spurred by effective free agent signings and All-Pro seasons from cornerback Trevon Diggs and rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, the defense rose to seventh in scoring defense, allowing 21.1 points per game.
Quinn had interviewed with five teams for head coaching vacancies around the league, including a second interview with the Bears, who ultimately hired Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
Jones was asked if he believed another team had offered Quinn a head coaching opportunity.
"I believe that very much," he said.
Last Friday on The Fan, Jones declined to discuss the status of anyone on the coaching staff, including head coach Mike McCarthy, fresh off the team's playoff loss.
A week later, Jones emphasized that McCarthy's job security was never in question. He simply didn't want to talk publicly about the staff at all because the club was in a "competitive situation" trying to keep Quinn.
"This is the thing I want to clear up: Mike was very involved in this process and very involved in trying to give us every chance to keep Dan Quinn," Jones said. "There's no question it was a competitive situation and I couldn't really get out and speak to it publicly because I didn't want to push teams toward him."
This isn't the first time Jones has fought to keep a sought-after assistant from jumping to another opportunity. After the 2003 season, he gave Sean Payton a raise to stay as assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach on Bill Parcells' staff. In 2007, he did the same to keep Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator on Wade Phillips' staff.
To Jones and McCarthy, retaining Quinn was vital for the Cowboys to build on a 12-5 season moving forward.
"Mike and I worked together in a joint effort. That's what it's going to take this year," Jones said. "We did some things this year that I'm really proud of with our coaching staff. We did some things I'm proud of with our team. We didn't do a lot of things that we need to do to not be sitting here out of the playoffs next year, and we're all committed to do it."