When a head coach fails in the NFL, his assistants typically suffer with him. Assistants usually get their promotions after success, not after failure. Most franchises build their entire staff around the image of the head coach, so it makes sense as to why. But the Dallas Cowboys aren’t “most franchises.”
The Dallas Cowboys have no problems firing head coaches and keeping assistants. They don’t think it’s weird at all to tell their new head coach Assistant A is going to be on his staff. They did it to Wade Philips, they did it to Jason Garrett, and they did it Mike McCarthy.
In each of those above situations, the Dallas Cowboys promoted the top rated coordinator to replace the failed head coach.
Regardless of how things play out for the Dallas Cowboys this season, Quinn and Moore will be hot names in the NFL
As such, assistants are almost autonomous in their ability to survive and they are not tethered to the sinking ship that is the head coach. Speaking of which, McCarthy is basically the RMS Lusitania here in Dallas. He may have time on his contract but the torpedoes are in the water and he’s going down. A new head coach in 2022 isn’t just possible – it’s expected.
But for reasons explained above, his assistants aren’t necessarily destined for the same fate. In fact, both his top assistants will be on the national radar for head coach vacancies in 2023 even if the Cowboys fail to improve.
Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn was a red hot name this past offseason and is the favorite to be Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys next year. Jerry Jones told him as much when he talked him into staying in the same coordinator post one more year in Dallas.
Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore also has a shockingly bright future as well. The 33-year-old assistant was one of the hottest names in the NFL at this time last season, and while that enthusiasm cooled with the Cowboys offensive struggles down the stretch, he’s still produced a top-5 offense every year he’s been in the league and is regarded as one of the best young minds in the game.
Last week we specifically discussed Moore and explained he’s more likely to get promoted to a head coach position than get demoted from OC. Fans are far more critical of him than the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL.
The coaching landscape in Dallas is abnormal, to say the least. When was the last time you’ve seen a head coach and his assistants moving in opposite directions. Sure it happens (happened in the Garrett/Philips era) but it’s still counterintuitive in most situations.
Unless the offense or defense tanks in spectacular fashion in 2022, both Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn will be hot names on the market. The same can’t be said for Mike McCarthy.