FRISCO, Texas — Having interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies of the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is returning to the Dallas Cowboys, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini on Thursday.
A source told Schefter that Quinn withdrew his name from consideration from the Bears’ job, which went to former Cowboys assistant and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, according to sources. Earlier Thursday, a source said the Broncos tabbed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach.
Quinn became a sought-after candidate after helping turn around the Cowboys’ defense in 2021, a year after it allowed a franchise-record 473 points. The Cowboys finished 19th in yards allowed per game, seventh in points per game and led the NFL in takeaways with 34.
Quinn helped develop rookie linebacker Micah Parsons and second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs into All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections. Parsons led the Cowboys in sacks with 13 and is a favorite to be the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Diggs led the NFL in interceptions with 11, tying a Cowboys record.
Quinn had a 43-42 record with the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 to ’20, leading the team to the Super Bowl in 2016 only to see a 28-3 third-quarter lead disappear in an overtime loss to the New England Patriots.
Quinn, who is still being paid by the Atlanta Falcons, indicated late in the regular season he would not take a job just to take a job.
“I think for me coming here, I wasn’t coming here to look at what my next job would be,” Quinn said. “I wanted to come in here and have a blast and hopefully kick ass and make an impact. … If those moments come, I’ll be ready for them if the right scenario came about, but honestly, I’m having a blast right here with this crew and going for it. That’s where my mind is, that’s where my heart is. I don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about down the road or what’s next. I just like really being in the moment with the guys.”
Quinn is the second key staff member the Cowboys have been able to keep in the fold since their season ended. Vice president of player personnel Will McClay signed a contract extension that took him off teams’ lists for general manager openings. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has also interviewed for multiple head-coach jobs, but he is also expected to remain with the Cowboys.
Head coach Mike McCarthy has been told he will return in 2022, as expected, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported on Thursday. Last week, while speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, owner and general manager Jerry Jones deferred when asked whether McCarthy would return. With coach Sean Payton walking away from the New Orleans Saints this week, it only intensified speculation regarding McCarthy’s future given Jones’ affinity for Payton, a former Dallas assistant under Bill Parcells.