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Dan Quinn Told Mike McCarthy He'd Leave Cowboys If It'd Be 'Easier' for HC

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2022

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Dan Quinn heard the rumors he might be in line to replace Mike McCarthy as the Dallas Cowboys' head coach in 2022.

So did McCarthy.

Hoping to avoid any tensions that could exist between the two, Quinn said he approached McCarthy and offered to leave the organization.

"I was like, 'Hey, man, let's talk about it and see what you think,'" Quinn said he told McCarthy, per Jori Epstein of USA Today. "'If it's easier for me to go, just say the word, and I'm gone.'"

McCarthy declined Quinn's offer, though the Cowboys coach did note his answer may have been different earlier in his career.

"He kind of laughed and said: 'You know, if this was 10 years ago, I'd say yeah, it would help for you to go. But I don’t want to say that right now,'" Quinn said.

"'Because I think winning is better with you here.'"

Quinn was sought after for several head-coaching vacancies last offseason before deciding to remain with the Cowboys for at least the 2022 campaign. The Dallas defensive coordinator previously spent five-plus seasons as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, compiling a 43-42 record and leading the franchise to Super Bowl LI.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted last week he helped fuel speculation he may want to replace McCarthy with Quinn as a deterrent to opposing teams.

“I had very much early wanted the NFL to wonder if Dan Quinn would be my head coach,” Jones told reporters. “I wanted to deter somebody else from getting him because I wanted him to be our coordinator. I was playing poker.”

McCarthy is heading into his third season with the Cowboys after a 13-year tenure with the Green Bay Packers. The 58-year-old has every reason to feel comfortable in his own skin, given he has a Super Bowl ring as a coach and posted accomplishments on the sideline that far exceed that of Quinn.

Jones has also been exceedingly gracious in granting his coaches time to succeed on their own. There are few owners in the NFL who would have spent an entire decade allowing Jason Garrett to disappoint at the helm.

The Cowboys clearly have Super Bowl expectations this season, and pressure will mount if McCarthy is unable to deliver. That said, it's hard to envision Quinn succeeding McCarthy unless the 2022 campaign is an outright failure.

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