The Denver Broncos have wasted no time in cleaning house after their disappointing 7-10 season. Head coach Vic Fangio was fired Sunday, the morning after the Broncos’ season-ending loss to Kansas City.
As the Broncos and general manager George Paton begin their search for a new head coach, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is widely expected to be a name at the top of their wish list. League insiders Tom Pelissero, Jason La Canfora, and Albert Breer all have identified Quinn as a leading candidate for serious consideration in Denver.
Quinn had already received a request to meet with Jacksonville for their head coaching vacancy. At the time, the 51-year-old Quinn declined to participate during the Week 17-18 interview window, but reportedly helped Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore prepare for his two-hour virtual conversation with the Jaguars on Friday.
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn on why he declined an in-season interview with Jaguars for head coach position: “I’m enjoying what I’m doing, and I’m really having the time of my life with this group of guys.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 6, 2022
It in unclear if Quinn has taken himself out of consideration entirely for the Jaguars job or if he simply wants to wait until after the Cowboys’ postseason journey has ended.
Over the past year, Quinn has orchestrated a dramatic turnaround for a Cowboys defense that went from historically bad in 2020 to one of the NFL’s best and the league leader in takeaways.
“Paton and Quinn do have a history together — they were on the same staff from 2005-2006 with the Miami Dolphins, holding director of pro personnel and defensive line coach roles, respectively.”
Later, in 2015, Quinn reportedly had “a strong interest” in joining forces with Paton, ready to be the head coach if Paton had been hired as GM with either the Jets or Bears. Paton ultimately did not pursue either position; Quinn accepted the head job in Atlanta, where he went on take the Falcons to a Super Bowl.
It looks as if the two men’s names will be linked once again as Denver launches a new head coaching search, with Paton having “full authority” to make the hire.
The #Broncos become the third team with a head coach vacancy, and it's an attractive one, with #Cowboys DC Dan Quinn, #Patriots ILB coach Jerod Mayo and #Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett among names to watch.
Meanwhile, Vic Fangio immediately becomes a hot DC candidate.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 9, 2022
As for Fangio, the longtime defensive mastermind will almost assuredly generate interest for another coaching role, as either defensive coordinator or head coach for a new team. Some have already mentioned Fangio as a potential replacement for Quinn as defensive coordinator in Dallas should Quinn take an opportunity elsewhere.
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