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New Developments Regarding Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy and Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn

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Ahead of their regular season finale, the Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot but there is still a division title up for grabs. The team’s ability to secure the NFC’s No. 2 seed and, of course, their showing in the postseason, could have major implications on the sidelines.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has faced an uncertain future during much of a relatively succesful run in Dallas. The former Super Bowl winner guided the team to consecutive 12-5 seasons over the past two years (a mark which would be replicated again with a win today over the Commanders). However, the franchise’s drought with respect to deep playoff runs has continued.

In spite of that, recent reports (along with an offseason vote of confidence from owner Jerry Jones) have pointed to McCarthy being safe for next year. A strong showing both today and in the first two rounds of the playoffs would certainly help his job security, as noted by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter does add, however, that personnel around the league and within the Cowboys’ organization feel McCarthy’s future could be significantly tied to today’s result.

A win over the reeling Commanders would clinch the NFC East for the Cowboys, but a loss would open the door to the Eagles claiming the division title. The latter scenario would see Dallas go on the road in the postseason, something which would be particularly signficant given the drastic difference in performance the team has displayed compared to its home contests. Dallas came up short in Washington during last year’s season finale, and McCarthy and Co. will be aiming to avoid a repeat of that situation.

One year remains on McCarthy’s contract, so an extension this offseason would come as little surprise. The Cowboys have continued to post strong numbers on offense after the departure of OC Kellen Moore and McCarthy taking over play-calling duties on that side of the ball. The team has also been effective in many defensive categories, owing in large part to the job done by third-year defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

The latter has kept himself on the head coaching radar once again this season, as has been the case in the past two years. Quinn withdrew from HC consideration in both cases, but it remains to be seen if that will happen again in the near future. David Moore of the Dallas Morning News notes that Quinn is believed to be “more receptive to the right offer” in the upcoming hiring cycle than those of years past.

The 53-year-old was last a head coach with the Falcons from 2015-20, a stretch which included a Super Bowl appearance. Quinn has rebuilt his value as one of the game’s top defensive minds during his time in Dallas, though, and he will no doubt be a hot commodity if he entertains outside offers. Schefter adds the Cowboys want to keep Quinn, but their ability to do so while also retaining McCarthy would be a key storyline to follow. In any case, plenty will be at stake today and in the immediate future for Dallas’ coaching staff.

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