6 Cowboys Defenders on the Chopping Block if Dan Quinn Leaves

Will the Dallas Cowboys defense suffer if Dan Quinn leaves? Find out how his departure could impact these six players.

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1. Malik Hooker, S

A first-round pick for the Indianapolis Colts, Malik Hooker had all the talent to be a game-changing safety. He just struggled with his health.

Hooker played in seven games as a rookie and then managed to suit up for 27 over the next two years. Then, an Achilles injury limited him to just two games in 2020. Indianapolis wasn't willing to bring him back and it took a while for him to land with a new team.

Late in the offseason, he signed with the Cowboys and was the third addition at the position. They already signed Jayron Kearse and Damontae Kazee — who followed Quinn from Atlanta — but Hooker was the one who they knew could give them their best deep coverage safety. They brought him along slowly in 2021 but once healthy in 2022, he became the player they hoped he would.

Hooker provided them with a safety net that helped eliminate the deep ball. In two seasons, he's played in 32 games and has 112 tackles, four interceptions, and six pass defenses. The numbers aren't bad, by any means, but they also don't do him justice.

So why would he be in trouble without Quinn? Simple, the Cowboys prior to Quinn didn't place much value on the safety position. They often tried to develop late-round picks and undrafted free agents. Despite seeing the way their defense improved with Hooker, Kazee, and Wilson, this front office might return to their roots without Quinn. That could be a problem for Hooker despite just signing an extension last year.

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