Has Dan Quinn become Wade Phillips?

I like Dan Quinn. No matter what anyone thinks of his defense’s atrocious performance against Green Bay in the playoffs, Dan Quinn rescued the Cowboys defense from the “Worst defense in team history” in 2020 to becoming a more than adequate unit the last 2-3 seasons.

In his defense – this year he was not exactly given a great set of LBs to work with, he lost his top CB to a knee injury, and the team’s 2023 #1 draft pick was a major disappointment in year one. (Can’t give up on Mazi yet but he did not have a good first year) Not making excuses, it’s just true that DQ‘s defensive gun was missing a bullet or two. No matter what, he is clearly an outstanding defensive coordinator IMO.

But I do wonder: Has Dan Quinn basically become Wade Phillips? A great defensive coordinator who should not be a head coach? We Cowboys fans watched the Wade Phillips years as our head coach with great pain. We saw a roster that Bill Parcells had molded into a top shelf #1 seed by 2007, only to watch in horror as that #1 seed in the NFC choked it all away in the divisional round vs the giants. And by 2010, after 3 and a half frustrating seasons with one wild card win, the team had quit on Wade.

Sadly, Wade Phillips was clearly an outstanding defensive coordinator. He eventually won a SB ring with Denver in 2015 as their defensive coordinator. Despite 3 tours of duty as an NFL head coach, Wade Phillips made it clear, he was a better coordinator than he was a HC. Is that true about Dan Quinn? I don’t know.

What’s sad for Dan Quinn is no matter what happens – if he’s hired by Washington tomorrow for example, he has clearly NOT been their first choice or they would have already hired him. If he is not offered the job in Washington has be become a second tier option like eventually Wade became? Again, if Washington really wanted Dan Quinn as their HC, they would have already hired him.

Either way, no matter what happens DQ does not look like the “hot commodity” coach in waiting but rather the second tier retread that’s available if a team can’t get who they wanted. That’s ultimately what Wade Phillips became. But to Wade’s credit, he also sports something very few other coaches have- a Super Bowl ring. Not as a HC but as a coordinator.

Time will soon tell if Dan Quinn is a HC again. Or the next Wade Phillips.

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