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Dan Quinn
Coach Dan Quinn
Quinn with the Falcons in 2017
Dallas Cowboys
Position:Defensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1970-09-11) September 11, 1970 (age 53)
Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.
Career information
High school:Morristown
(Morristown, New Jersey)
College:Salisbury (1989–1993)
Career history
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:43–42 (.506)
Postseason:3–2 (.600)
Career:46–44 (.511)
Coaching stats at PFR

Daniel Patrick Quinn (born September 11, 1970) is an American football coach who is the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He came to prominence as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks from 2013 to 2014, serving as the play-caller for the team's Legion of Boom secondary. Under Quinn, Seattle led the league in defense and made two consecutive Super Bowl appearances, winning the franchise's first in Super Bowl XLVIII. This success led to Quinn being named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, where he served for six seasons.

Quinn's most successful season with the Falcons came in 2016 when he led the team to Super Bowl LI, an accomplishment overshadowed by them surrendering the largest lead in Super Bowl history. Atlanta would make the playoffs only one more time under Quinn, leading to his firing early into 2020. He joined the Cowboys in 2021 and was named Assistant Coach of the Year the same season.

Early life and playing career

Born in Morristown, New Jersey,[1] Quinn grew up in nearby Morris Township and played high school football at Morristown High School in Morristown,[2][3] from which he graduated in 1989.[4] Quinn attended Salisbury State University (now Salisbury University), an NCAA Division III school, and played on its football team as a defensive lineman from 1990 to 1993. He was a four-year starter in football and track and field and was named All Mason-Dixon in 1994 for his record-breaking hammer throw (168.8 feet) while also representing Salisbury State in the NCAA track championships that year. Quinn was a two-time football team captain and captained the track and field team in 1994. After the 1993 football season, he was co-awarded the prestigious Bobby Richards award. Quinn was inducted in the Salisbury University athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

Coaching career

Early career

Quinn began his coaching career with the William & Mary Tribe football team in 1994 and at Virginia Military Institute in 1995, working with their defensive lines.[5] From 1996 to 1999, Quinn served as the defensive line coach at Hofstra and their defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in 2000.

San Francisco 49ers

In 2001, Quinn was hired as a defensive quality control coach by the San Francisco 49ers under head coach Steve Mariucci.[6] In 2003, Quinn was promoted to defensive line coach.

Miami Dolphins

In 2005, Quinn was hired by the Miami Dolphins as their defensive line coach under new head coach Nick Saban.

New York Jets

In 2007, Quinn was hired in the same role by the New York Jets.

Seattle Seahawks

On January 12, 2009, Quinn was hired as an assistant head coach and defensive line coach by the Seattle Seahawks under new head coach Jim L. Mora.

University of Florida

In 2011, Quinn left Seattle to serve as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach for the Florida Gators during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Quinn was a 2012 finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach.[7]

Seattle Seahawks (second stint)

Quinn coaching for the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.

On January 17, 2013, Quinn returned to Seattle as their defensive coordinator, this time under head coach Pete Carroll, and replacing Gus Bradley, who became the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

In Quinn's first season as defensive coordinator, the Seahawks led the league in fewest points allowed, fewest yards allowed, and takeaways with 231, 4,378, and 39, respectively, to become the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to accomplish the feat; the Seahawks went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos 43-8.[8][9]

Atlanta Falcons

On February 2, 2015, a day after the Seattle Seahawks lost Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots, Quinn reached an agreement to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.[10]

2015 season

See also: 2015 Atlanta Falcons season

On September 14, Quinn won his first game as the head coach of the Falcons, when his team beat the visiting Philadelphia Eagles 26–24 on Monday Night Football. The Falcons got off to a hot 5–0 start in Quinn's first season, but finished the season 8–8 and missed the playoffs.[11]

2016 season (Super Bowl LI)

See also: 2016 Atlanta Falcons season

In the 2016 season, Quinn's Falcons finished the year with an 11–5 record, which was good enough to win the NFC South and clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.[12] In the Divisional Round, the Falcons defeated Quinn's former team, the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 36–20, advancing to the NFC Championship for just the fourth time in franchise history.[13]

On January 22, 2017, the Falcons won the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers by a score of 44–21, clinching a berth to play in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots.[14] Despite being up 21–3 at halftime and 28–3 in the third quarter, the Falcons blew the largest lead in Super Bowl history and lost the game by a score of 34–28 in the first Super Bowl to be decided in overtime.[15][16]

2017 season

See also: 2017 Atlanta Falcons season

In the 2017 season, the Falcons finished the year 10–6, which was only good enough for 3rd in the NFC South, but also good enough for the 6th seed in the playoffs.[17] In the Wild Card Round, the Falcons defeated the 3rd seeded Los Angeles Rams by a score of 26–13 and advanced to the Divisional Round.[18] In the Divisional Round, the Falcons lost on the road to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 15–10.[19]

2018 season

See also: 2018 Atlanta Falcons season

In the 2018 season, the Falcons were injury riddled throughout the season, losing seven starters to injured reserve and more for at least a game. Ultimately, the team finished 7–9, which placed the Falcons at second in the NFC South, and as the eight seed in the NFC, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015.[20] Following the firing of defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Quinn took on the position of defensive coordinator for the Falcons.

2019 season

See also: 2019 Atlanta Falcons season

In the 2019 season, the Falcons started the first half of the season going 1–7 with growing speculation that Falcons owner Arthur Blank would fire Quinn sometime during or at the end of the season. However, after a defensive turnaround with Quinn distributing some of the defensive play-calling duties to assistants, the team finished the season at 7–9, again placing second in the NFC South and missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year.[21] Blank announced that Quinn would return for the 2020 season after the season.[22]

2020 season

See also: 2020 Atlanta Falcons season

The Falcons began the season with a 38-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This loss marked Quinn's 40th loss of his head coaching career including playoff losses. On October 11, 2020, after an 0–5 start to the season, the Falcons' first since 1997, Quinn, along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, was fired by the Falcons.[23] The team named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as the interim head coach.[24] Quinn finished his tenure in Atlanta with a 43–42 (.506) regular season record, 3–2 (.600) playoff record and a 46–44 (.511) career record.

Dallas Cowboys

2021 season

On January 11, 2021, Quinn was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as their defensive coordinator under head coach Mike McCarthy, replacing Mike Nolan, who was dismissed following the 2020 season.[25] On December 2, 2021, Quinn stepped in as acting head coach for the Cowboys while McCarthy was out after testing positive for COVID-19. The Cowboys beat the New Orleans Saints on the road by a score of 27-17.[26]

In Quinn's first season as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, the team finished atop the NFC East with a 12–5 record. A year after the Cowboys allowed a franchise-record 473 points and second-most rushing yards in franchise history, Quinn's defensive unit ranked 19th in the league in yards allowed per game (5.5), eighth in opponent's points per game (21.2) and first in takeaways (34).

After the season, it was reported in the media that Quinn was a sought-after head coach candidate, having interviewed for the vacancies of the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. In the end, he opted to return to the Cowboys and keep the continuity of its coaching staff.[27]

2022 season

On January 28, 2022, the Cowboys signed Quinn to a multi-year contract extension.[28] In February 2022, he was named the 2021 AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.[29]

Following head coach interviews with the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts in January 2023, Quinn publicly announced his decision to stay as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator.[30][31][32]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ATL 2015 8 8 0 .500 2nd in NFC South
ATL 2016 11 5 0 .688 1st in NFC South 2 1 .667 Lost to New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI
ATL 2017 10 6 0 .625 3rd in NFC South 1 1 .500 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Divisional Game
ATL 2018 7 9 0 .438 2nd in NFC South
ATL 2019 7 9 0 .438 2nd in NFC South
ATL 2020 0 5 0 .000 Fired
Total 43 42 0 .506 3 2 .600


  1. ^ Dan Quinn: Head Coach Archived February 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Atlanta Falcons. Accessed February 20, 2017. "Quinn was born in Morristown, New Jersey."
  2. ^ Bonasera, Paul. "Quinn coaching winners on the field and off in Morris Twp."[permanent dead link], Daily Record (Morristown), December 10, 2008. Accessed February 27, 2013. "Dan, the youngest of six children, was captain of the Morristown High School football team."
  3. ^ Staff. "Morris Township basks in reflected glory of Super Bowl star", Morris NewsBee, February 3, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2017. "The defensive coordinator for the Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks, Dan Quinn, is a native son of Morris Township, a Morristown High School graduate and the brother of Township Administrator Timothy Quinn."
  4. ^ Coughlin, Kevin. "Falcon coach Dan Quinn’s road to Super Bowl started at Morristown High",, February 5, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2017. "The youngest of six kids, Quinn grew up in Morris Township playing baseball and football. At Morristown High School, where he graduated in 1989, he captained the football team for two years, playing center and linebacker and winning all-conference honors as a senior."
  5. ^ Rohan, Tim. "Dan Quinn's Coaching Roots at William & Mary". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  6. ^ McClure, Vaughn. "Former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci reflects on giving Dan Quinn his NFL shot". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  7. ^ "Dan Quinn Named Finalist for Broyles Award". Florida Gators Athletics. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Mayer, Larry (February 4, 2014). "Comparing Seahawks to '85 Bears". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Super Bowl XLVIII – Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos – February 2nd, 2014". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Mcclure, Vaughn (February 2, 2015). "Falcons to introduce Dan Quinn". ESPN. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  11. ^ "2015 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  12. ^ "2016 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "Divisional Round – Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons – January 14th, 2017". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "NFC Championship – Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons – January 22nd, 2017". Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  15. ^ Chadiha, Jeffri. "Falcons' historic collapse leads to Patriots' fifth Super Bowl win". NFL. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  16. ^ "Super Bowl LI – New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons – February 5th, 2017". Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  17. ^ "2017 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "Wild Card Round – Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams – January 6th, 2018". Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Divisional Round – Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles – January 13th, 2018". Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "2018 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  21. ^ "2019 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "Falcons' Dan Quinn, GM Dimitroff to return in 2020". Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  23. ^ "Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, coach Dan Quinn relieved of their duties". Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  24. ^ "Atlanta Falcons name Raheem Morris interim head coach". Atlanta Falcons. October 12, 2020.
  25. ^ "Dan Quinn Agrees To Terms As Cowboys' New DC". Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  26. ^ "Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints – December 2nd, 2021". Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  27. ^ "Sources: Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn returning to Dallas Cowboys". January 27, 2022.
  28. ^ "Dallas Cowboys extend Dan Quinn with multi-year deal". January 28, 2022.
  29. ^ Gordon, Grant (January 27, 2022). "Dan Quinn earns 2021 AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year after Cowboys' turnaround". Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  30. ^ Alper, Josh (January 24, 2023). "Dan Quinn schedules second interview with Cardinals". Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  31. ^ Williams, Charean (January 25, 2023). "Report: Colts schedule second interview with Dan Quinn for Saturday". Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  32. ^ Archer, Todd (January 26, 2023). "DC Dan Quinn returning to Cowboys after HC interviews". Retrieved January 27, 2023.