Around this time last year, Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys and the hottest potential head coaching candidate in the NFL. Fast forward a year and Quinn is now playing second fiddle to big names like Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick. With multiple teams seeking new coaches, Quinn’s prospects are not as prominent as before, especially if he leaves the Cowboys, where he might be considered a consolation prize.
Quinn is set to interview with several teams this week, but he may not be their top choice. Despite this, his best option may be to return to the Pacific Northwest to lead the Seahawks, especially considering the potential overhaul after Pete Carroll’s move to an advisory role. If Harbaugh returns to the NFL this year, Quinn may end up coaching in the lower league for teams like Carolina, Tennessee, and Las Vegas, which are unlikely to be top choices.
The Chargers, Falcons, and Commanders are the top destinations, with Harbaugh, Belichick, and Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson in the mix. If Harbaugh stays in Ann Arbor, Johnson could end up in Los Angeles coaching the Chargers and Justin Herbert. Meanwhile, Belichick is rumored to be strongly linked with Atlanta, where solving the quarterback question will be pivotal.
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Only one organization looking for a new coach has a proven franchise QB on its roster. It is unlikely that Quinn will get a top job this time unless he returns to Seattle. If given the chance, staying in Dallas and leading the defense for another season may be his best option.
There is also the possibility of a coaching vacancy in Pittsburgh if Mike Tomlin decides to retire, but that decision is still up in the air. Ultimately, Jones‘ support and a waiting game in Dallas may be Quinn’s best bet in getting another shot at a top job.