Former Cowboys head coach criticizes Dan Quinn

The Dallas Cowboys have had nine head coaches in the 64-year history of the franchise. Only one of those coaches finished his tenure in Dallas with a losing record: Dave Campo.

Campo was the Dallas head coach from 2000-02 and had a 15-33 record in three seasons. Campo replaced Chan Gailey and was replaced by the legendary Bill Parcells.

To say Campo bleeds Cowboys’ blue would be an understatement. He arrived in Dallas with Jimmy Johnson in 1989. After serving as an assistant under Johnson, Barry Switzer, and Gailey, Campo got his shot at leading the franchise in 2000.

After he was fired and had stints with the Browns and Jaguars, he returned to the Cowboys in 2008 as the defensive backs coach for four seasons under Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett.

Since leaving Dallas after 2011, Campo served as an assistant with the Kansas Jayhawks and, most recently, a two-year stint with the USC Trojans (2018-19) as an analyst.

Campo still follows the Cowboys closely and is friends with Dallas’ new defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer. Campo and Zimmer first worked together in 1981 at Weber State. They were reunited with the Cowboys in 1994 when Switzer hired Zimmer as a defensive assistant.

After six seasons as a defensive assistant, Campo promoted Zimmer to defensive coordinator in 2000 when he took over as head coach. When Campo was fired, Parcells kept Zimmer as his defensive coordinator.

Safe to say, Campo is happy to see his old friend back in charge of the Dallas defense.

But what about the Cowboys’ former defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn? Quinn departed after leading the Cowboys defense for three seasons to become the new head coach of the Washington Commanders.

Campo had some criticism for Quinn.

“From a culture standpoint…… I’ll just say one thing this way,” Campo said in an appearance on the San Antonio Sports Star, as transcribed by Blogging the Boys.

“I know Dan Quinn very well. I was not in the office, in the building, I’m here in Jacksonville, so I saw a bunch of the games. I saw that game. I’m going a little bit on some hearsay. But I think the one thing about Dan is he’s a fine gentleman, and he’s smart, and his scheme was okay, but he was a little bit too buddy-buddy, I think, with the players, and that’s part of it. You can’t have a lot of accountability if you don’t stand a little bit above it of the people that you’re trying to get to be accountable.”

Campo then criticized Quinn’s defense for being too small.

It’s fair to criticize Quinn’s unit for being too small and unable to stop the run, but his three-year run in charge of the Cowboys’ defense was the best three-year run that side of the ball has had in ages.

Quinn’s defense led the NFL in turnovers by a wide margin over the past three years and finished in the top five of FTN’s defensive DVOA in each of his three seasons. While many will remember the blowout loss to the Packers more than Quinn’s success, that isn’t a fair way to judge his tenure in Dallas.

His players will miss him. And fans, if the defense takes a step back under Zimmer, will miss him, too.

As they say, you never know what you have until it’s gone. Ask Eagles coach Nick Sirianni about that after losing both coordinators last offseason.

Campo sticking up for Zimmer is not a surprise. Once it was revealed that Zimmer would return to the Cowboys, Campo said the following on Twitter.

No one knows how Quinn’s tenure in Washington will turn out, but Campo’s comments are one-sided and well-timed. When you base your public comments on hearsay, that’s never a good look.

While Campo may be beloved by some segments of the Dallas fan base, he had a .313 winning percentage as head coach. As Parcells often said, “You are what your record says you are.”

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire