This news could be good for the Philadelphia Eagles.
1) The Dallas defense could get worse.
Here’s how the Cowboys ranked defensively under Quinn:
2021: 4th in DVOA, 8th in opponent offensive points per game, 3rd in EPA per play, 1st in takeaways per game, 19th in defensive spending
2022: 4th in DVOA, 9th in opponent offensive points per game, 2nd in EPA per play, 1st in takeaways per game, 26th in defensive spending
2023: 5th in DVOA, t-11th in opponent offensive points per game, 4th in EPA per play, t-14th in takeaways per game, 10th in defensive spending
As you can see, Quinn helped the Cowboys get pretty good results on defense. He was undoubtedly aided by star talent that remains in Dallas. But he also oversaw the development of some of those players.
It remains to be seen who the Cowboys will hire to replace Quinn. Former Eagles defender and current Cowboys assistant Al Harris seems to be getting some consideration. Ron Rivera, who interviewed for the Eagles’ DC opening before Philly hired Vic Fangio, is also reportedly in the mix.
Regardless of who they pick, there’s a decent chance it’s going to be a downgrade from Quinn.
The Cowboys could also be in jeopardy of losing some key assistants to Washington.
2) The Commanders could have made a more intimidating hire.
If I’m the Eagles, I would’ve been nervous about the Commanders landing Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson or Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. They’re obviously both unproven at the head coaching level ... but that’s the point. Those might be high upside hires.
Quinn seems like a “safer” hire that raises the Commanders’ floor but leaves questions about Washington’s ceiling. That same description was applicable to Ron Rivera at the time when he was hired by Dan Snyder.
Including playoffs, Quinn went 46-44 as a head coach with the Atlanta Falcons. He infamously oversaw one of the worst in-game collapses in NFL history with the Falcons blowing a 28 to 3 lead in the Super Bowl.
It seems quite possible that Quinn is a really good defensive coordinator and an entirely average (at best) head coach.
Washington is still a bit of a looming giant (no NFC East pun intended) since they have the No. 2 overall pick and the most cap space in the NFL to work with. It’s possible that new general manager Adam Peters will get them going in the right direction. Maybe they’ll knock the offensive coordinator hire out of the park (they really need to do so).
There’s certainly more hope for the Commanders now that Snyder no longer owns the team. But it’s possible that Josh Harris isn’t the massive upgrade that Washington fans are hoping him to be.