NFL Rumors: Cowboys replacement for Dan Quinn could be a coach they have dominated

There is a chance that Dan Quinn and this other former NFL head coach could be trading places.

Dan Quinn, Dallas Cowboys
Dan Quinn, Dallas Cowboys / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Dan Quinn will have one of three jobs next NFL season. He will either be the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator for the fourth year in a row on Mike McCarthy's staff or he will be the head coach of one of the last two remaining teams with job openings in the Seattle Seahawks or the Washington Commanders. It is a good place to be if you are Quinn. But what if he were to leave?

Quinn has long been seen as the favorite to replace his mentor Pete Carroll in Seattle, but apparently, Jody Allen is not done interviewing people. She really seems to like Anthony Weaver on John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens staff. That could be what is holding up Seattle hiring a head coach. Quinn is also seen as a finalist for who could get the gig in Washington, along with Ben Johnson.

Shortly before kickoff of the AFC Championship Game between Baltimore and the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL insider Ian Rapoport revealed that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may have a contingency plan in place if Quinn were to leave for either head-coaching opportunity. He says that former Washington head coach Ron Rivera could turn heel and lead the Cowboys defense going forward.

If Quinn takes over for him in Washington, then Rivera may take over for him in Dallas. That is so wild!

There are trading places, and then there is this. Rival teams passing around retreads for the win!

NFL rumors: Ron Rivera names as possible Dan Quinn replacement

Look. I think Rivera is a good coach (or used to be...) and is a good man. However, I like the prospects of Washington adding Quinn as its head coach more than I like Rivera coordinating the Cowboys defense. He is overqualified to do that, probably more so than Quinn was coming over to Dallas in the first place after the Atlanta Falcons fired him in 2020. Rivera has been a NFL head coach since 2011.

No, Rivera is probably not going to get another shot leading his own team after it hit the fan for him in Washington, but he is still a well-respected man in the coaching profession and could be a huge asset to McCarthy in Dallas. Conversely, he is almost certainly going to be the interim head coach if and when McCarthy is let go next season. His seat is about as hot as it gets heading into next year.

As for Quinn, he is well-connected in the sport. When he was coaching in Atlanta, offense was never the problem, even though that was not his side of the ball. He landed good coordinators, everyone from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian to Dirk Koetter, all well-respected in the industry. He will have the No. 2 overall pick to land either Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels in the NFL Draft.

Overall, Quinn has a great shot at success in either Seattle or Washington, probably the latter more since he does not have any previous attachments to the Commanders brand like he does the Seahawks. A new owner, a new quarterback, far less pressure, so to speak. Going back to Seattle could blow up in his face, but he has so much working knowledge in division from his Cowboys days.

Ultimately, Rivera to Dallas as Quinn's successor tells me that Dallas is never going to win a Super Bowl again with Jones as the owner. Maybe his children will hoist the Lombardi Trophy again in his memory one day? For now, Rivera's potential arrival in Dallas is another way that McCarthy will be actively undermined in his role. He may feel enabled, but the rug could be pulled out from under him.

All this talk about Rivera brings me to question why not hire Mike Vrabel instead of him this winter?

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