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Cowboys DC Dan Quinn set for playoff-week interview with Broncos

Sep 26, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn offers the Denver Broncos a massive mulligan on Friday, two days before he oversees the Dallas Cowboys’ defense in a divisional playoff game at San Francisco.

Quinn was a finalist for the Broncos’ job in 2022, interviewing with Denver before Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was named head coach. Hackett was fired Dec. 26 without completing his first season on the job.

The Cowboys made Quinn one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the NFL last January to help persuade him to return. Owner Jerry Jones didn’t rule out a similar modification to Quinn’s salary for 2023, but the payday wouldn’t compare to what head coaches earn.

“Obviously we think world of Dan Quinn and we all understand the contributions he made and they interviewed him last year, so it doesn’t surprise me they are interviewing him,” Jones said of Quinn meeting with the Broncos.

Quinn might have an edge given his connection to Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. They were together during the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run before Quinn was hired as head coach of the Falcons.

As for the timing of interviews, the playing field for Sunday’s coaching is relatively even in one respect: Quinn interviews a day after 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is scheduled to meet with the Broncos.

Dallas played Monday night, two days after the 49ers ousted the Seahawks in the wild-card round, and San Francisco has the advantage of homefield and not having to fly roundtrip to Tampa and now California.

But Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he’s not concerned with Quinn losing focus on the 49ers.

“Dan’s the ultimate professional. And he will not jeopardize for anything the preparation of this game,” McCarthy said.

While not yet scheduled, Quinn is also a candidate to interview with the Indianapolis Colts.

Quinn, 52, was 43-42 as head coach of the Falcons, leading Atlanta to the Super Bowl — where the New England Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit — before being fired after five-plus seasons.

He has served as defensive coordinator of the Cowboys for the past two seasons. Dallas led the NFL in takeaways in 2021 and 2022 and its defense was in the top 10 in points allowed per game each year.

–Field Level Media