The hidden side of politics

Sources: Commanders hire Quinn as new coach

Reported by ESPN:

ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Commanders are hiring Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to be their next coach, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Quinn replaces Ron Rivera, who was fired by new owner Josh Harris one day after the season ended. The Commanders hired Adam Peters as general manager Jan. 12. The moves represent the first significant hires on the football side for Harris, who finalized the purchase of the team in July.

Quinn, 53, served as Dallas’ defensive coordinator the past three seasons. The Cowboys ranked a combined fifth in points and seventh in yards. Under Quinn, the Cowboys led the NFL with 93 forced turnovers.

Rivera is a possibility to replace Quinn in Dallas, as sources told ESPN that the Cowboys will meet with the former Commanders coach. Longtime Mike McCarthy assistant Joe Whitt Jr., who has been the Cowboys passing game coordinator, would be the top in-house candidate.

Quinn had previously served as the Atlanta Falcons‘ head coach from 2015 to 2020, taking the Falcons to the Super Bowl after the 2016 season, when they lost to the New England Patriots in overtime — after leading 28-3.

Atlanta won a combined 10 games in two seasons before his arrival. The Falcons went 8-8 his first season and a combined 29-19 in his first three. But Atlanta was 14-23 in his final two-plus seasons. He finished 43-42 overall and 3-2 in the postseason.

Before his time in Atlanta, Quinn was the defensive coordinator for two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. There, his defenses ranked first in points and yards each season.

Dallas ranked fifth in yards and scoring this season. The Cowboys have been in the top 10 in scoring defense in each of Quinn’s three years.

Quinn will have a lot of work to do in Washington. The Commanders finished 4-13 last season, haven’t finished with a winning record since 2016 and haven’t won a playoff game since the 2005 season.

But the Commanders own the No. 2 pick in the 2024 draft, where they can draft their quarterback of the future, and will make five picks in the top 100. They also have approximately $70 million in available cap space, with the ability to create at least $15 million more by releasing various players.

ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.