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Dan Quinn hired to fix Cowboys’ historically bad defense


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The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms with ex-Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn to become their next defensive coordinator, the club announced Monday night.

Multiple media outlets reported that Quinn received a three-year contract, but the Cowboys did not reveal any details of the deal.

Quinn will succeed Mike Nolan, who was fired last week.

The Cowboys gave up 473 points this season, the most in franchise history. Dallas also finished No. 31 in run defense, No. 23 in total defense, and No. 28 in points allowed per game.

Quinn went 43-42 in five-plus seasons with the Falcons. He was dismissed after an 0-5 start to the 2020 campaign that included a 40-39 loss to the Cowboys in Week 2.

He took the Falcons to the Super Bowl after the 2016 season, but Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots to miss a chance for the franchise’s first championship.

Before taking the Falcons’ head coaching job, Quinn served as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014, helping Seattle reach the Super Bowl in each season. His defenses allowed the fewest yards and fewest points in each of those years.

Dan Quinn hired by the Cowboys as defensive coordinator
Dan Quinn
Getty Images

He previously served as an assistant coach for William & Mary, VMU, Hofstra and Florida at the collegiate level and for the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Seattle (in an earlier stint) in the NFL.

According to multiple media reports, the Cowboys had virtual interviews for the defensive coordinator job with Falcons secondary coach/passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. and Carolina Panthers defensive passing game coordinator/secondary coach Jason Simmons. Both Whiit and Simmons worked on current Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy’s previous staffs with the Green Bay Packers.

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