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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2. Brandon Staley

This name might not be too thrilling for Dallas fans but this could be a fresh start. Brandon Staley had an uninspiring three-year run with the Los Angeles Chargers. He was relieved of his duties on Dec. 15, 2023 but is looking to get back in the coaching circle. Staley had interviewed with the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers for their vacant defensive coordinator positions.

The 41-year-old did have difficulty being the lead man but that doesn't mean he can't thrive focusing on one specific group. As the Rams defensive coordinator in 2020, Los Angeles was first in the league in both total defense (281.9) and pass defense (190.7) but third in rushing defense (91.3).

Additionally, they led the NFL in points allowed (18.5). This highlighted Stanley's knack for leading a disruptive defense.

Staley could be a sneaky hire following his Chargers tenure going up in flames. He was once a hot head-coaching candidate following his work on defense in Los Angeles, though his stock's now taken a big hit. That will make him incredibly motivated to earn the league's overwhelming respect again.

His current situation is reminiscent of Quinn, who enjoyed his own rise as a defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. While the Falcons had more success with Quinn than the Chargers had with Staley, the former was still ushered out after disappointing results near the end of his stint.

That firing eventually led him to Dallas, where he made his mark again and landed another HC job. Perhaps Staley could follow a similar path working with the same talent Quinn had at his disposal.