FRISCO, Texas — For the second year in a row, Dan Quinn has decided to pass up potential head coaching jobs to stay on as defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
Quinn has interviewed the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts over the past few weeks.
«Unfinished business here in Dallas. My main goal is to help the team play championship ball in 2023,» Quinn told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
During his end-of-season press conference, coach Mike McCarthy hinted at a possible comeback, saying, «I feel good where we are,» but «We’ll give Dan his time.»
Shortly after the session ended, McCarthy confirmed Quinn’s decision to stay.
«We’re all extremely excited to have Dan back,» McCarthy said. «I had the chance to visit him a short time ago. It’s important for us. It gives us continuity, certainly what we have achieved in the last two years, building on that. Frankly, on a personal note, I can’t tell me how grateful I am to you.»
The Cowboys became the first team to lead the NFL in consecutive years since the 1972-74 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys tied for fifth in points allowed per game and 12th in yards. Micah Parsons is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year and was named first-team All-Pro for the second straight season. Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence and Trevon Diggs have all been named to the Pro Bowl.
«I think there’s a bunch of reasons,» McCarthy said. «I think it’s the staff. I think it’s the players. I think he’s been a head coach, he understands at this point in his life how hard it is to win a Super Bowl. I So think all of those things play into it. I think Dan is clearly able to be selective, and I’m extremely excited about this decision.»
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore this week interviewed the Carolina Panthers, who eventually signed Frank Reich. McCarthy said he has yet to have a full meeting with Moore about the offense and the future. The Cowboys finished fourth in points per game and 11th in yards in 2022, despite missing quarterback Dak Prescott for five games with a broken thumb.
But the season ended in a 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs, leading to questions about Moore, who remains under contract.
«I really don’t want to play this game,» McCarthy said. «Kellen Moore, like the rest of the coaches, will be evaluated. Every coach will be evaluated. Evaluation takes more than a day.»
On Thursday, McCarthy confirmed that assistant head coach Rob Davis, senior defensive assistant George Edwards, offensive line coach Joe Philbin, running backs coach Skip Peete, assistant line coach defensive Leon Lett and quality control coach Kyle Valero will not return.
«It’s that time of year when you evaluate everything,» McCarthy said. «The more I do this, the harder it gets. There’s a personal component to it. Obviously, you’re talking about relationships that I’ve been involved with for a long time. That part is probably the hardest for me.»
McCarthy’s immediate future is not in question. He is under contract until 2024. The Cowboys won 12 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1994-95, and he became the first Cowboys coach to lead the team to a back-to-back playoff since Chan Gailey in 1998. -99.
Despite the success, McCarthy’s professional status has been called into question several times over the past two years, although that hasn’t been a problem for owner and general manager Jerry Jones.
«As far as my relationship with Jerry, just using his words, we’re in a great position,» McCarthy said. «The partnership we have, he’s excited. He’s told me several times this week that he wants me to coach here for as long as coach (Tom) Landry (29) does. I said: ‘ Okay, that’s a long time.'»