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5 facts about Dan Quinn, New Cowboys DC

FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys officially appointed Dan Quinn as their new defense coordinator on Tuesday. Here are five facts you may not know about 50-year-old Quinn:

He started as a young student. Prior to joining the coaching staff at William & Mary in 1994, Quinn was an excellent defender at Division III Salisbury University in Maryland. He had 145 career bouts as a two-time seagull captain and was also a two-sport athlete who broke the school record for longest hammer throw (168 ’88 “).

He specializes in D-Line. Like his playing days, Quinn has extensive experience training the defensive line. He coached the position in three college programs ̵

1; William and Mary, Hofstra and VMI (on the same headquarters as future Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin) – before joining the NFL as a D-Line coach for the 49ers (2003-04). From there, Quinn played the same role for the Dolphins (2005-06), Jets (2007-09) and Seahawks (2009-10). Along the way, he coached future Hall of Fame Jason Taylor (Dolphins) and worked with former Cowboys defender Michael Bennett at the start of Bennett’s rookie season in 2009 with Seattle as a free agent in Seattle.

He coordinates one of the greatest defenses ever. When Gus Bradley left the Seahawks to become Jaguars’ head coach in 2013, Quinn returned to Seattle with a promotion to defensive coordinator and helped the defense continue on one of the biggest tracks in NFL history. Loaded with Pro Bowl talent, the 2013 Super Bowl Seahawks champion became the first of the 85 Bears – widely considered the best defense of all time – to lead the league in places with the fewest points allowed and the least yards allowed (source : Chicago Bears.com). Seattle made the Super Bowl again in 2014, losing in the final seconds to the Patriots. From 2012-14, they became the first defense of the Vikings from 1969 to 71, allowing at least points in three consecutive seasons.

He has worked in various protection schemes. Quinn has generally been considered a 4-3 coach throughout his career, including his time working for Pete Carroll in Seattle. The Cowboys have used variants of this approach in the past under former defense coordinator Rod Marinelli and former passing games coordinator Chris Richard, also a former Seahawks assistant. However, Quinn has also trained in various systems. During his stay in New York, the Jets escaped 3-4. Then the Dolphins had a combination of 4-3 and 3-4 with Nick Saban. Even in Florida, when Quinn returned to college as a defense coordinator from 2011-12, the Gators used a combination of fronts of three and four.

He is another assistant to Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, who has previous experience as an NFL head coach. (Special Team Coordinator John Fassel and offensive line coach Joe Philbin do the same.) Quinn posted a 46-44 record for five and a half seasons with Atlanta in 2015-20. The Falcons and Quinn split after a 0-5 start this season, including a 40-39 loss to the Cowboys in Week 2. But Quinn took Atlanta to the Super Bowl in 2016, lost a thriller to the Patriots and became just the second coach in Falcons history. to lead them to the playoffs in consecutive seasons. McCarthy clearly likes to have experienced staff, and hiring Quinn as DC continues this trend in Dallas.

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