3 Likely Replacements for Dan Quinn as Cowboys Defensive Coordinator

The Dallas Cowboys will need to find a new defensive coordinator with Dan Quinn departing.

Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera on the field
Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera on the field / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Cowboys are now in the market for a new defensive coordinator. Dan Quinn agreed to become the Washington Commanders head coach on Thursday. Quinn has been in Dallas since 2021 where he quickly transformed the Cowboys' defense into one of the best units in the league.

With a new void on Dallas' staff rolling into a high-pressure season in 2024, the Cowboys will have their hands full. Despite all of that, they have a defensive unit that features stars like Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs who will be returning from a torn ACL next season.

There are a few interesting options that Dallas could target to replace Quinn.

1. Ron Rivera

Wouldn't that be funny? Quinn is now the lead man in Washington and Rivera could end up in Dallas. They could essentially be swapping spots. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys have an interest in Rivera becoming the defensive coordinator.

The 62-year-old had plenty of success across seven seasons as defensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers. He coached a top 5 total defense in three different seasons from 2005-2010. Rivera's units also ranked Top 5 in scoring defense from 2005-2007.

Notably, Rivera was last a defensive coordinator in 2010, which was 14 years ago but he's shown the ability to be a leader of men. The California native has been a head coach since 2011 but maybe taking a step back and just focusing on one unit will help Rivera regain that groove.