Washington Commanders to name Quinn head coach

By Sports Desk February 01, 2024

The Washington Commanders have reached an agreement with Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to become their new head coach, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Quinn will get a second opportunity to run a team after previously serving six seasons as the Atlanta Falcons' head coach from 2015-20. He led the Falcons to a Super Bowl in his second season in charge in 2016, but was fired after an 0-5 start in 2020 that followed up two consecutive losing campaigns.

The 53-year-old takes over for another coach who previously guided a team to a Super Bowl in Ron Rivera, who was let go at the conclusion of this past season after Washington struggled to a 4-13 record. Rivera was the head coach during the Carolina Panthers' NFC championship season of 2015. 

Quinn becomes the latest addition to a franchise that has undergone a slew of changes in the past year, beginning with long-time owner Daniel Snyder selling the team to an investment group headed by Josh Harris, the managing partner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL's New Jersey Devils, in July. 

The Commanders also have a new general manager in place after hiring Adam Peters from the San Francisco 49ers' front office in January.

Quinn gets to stay in the NFC's East Division after restoring his head coaching credentials with a successful stint orchestrating a defence that helped Dallas reach the playoffs in all three of his seasons there. The Cowboys ranked fifth in the NFL in both points and total yards allowed in 2023, while their 93 takeaways during Quinn's tenure are the most in the league over that three-year stretch.

The veteran assistant also had an excellent run as the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator from 2013-14, helping that team win a Super Bowl in the first of those seasons.

Quinn compiled a 43-42 overall record in Atlanta and led the Falcons to two play-off appearances, the first of which nearly culminated in the franchise's first NFL title. In one of the most memorable games in recent NFL history, Atlanta infamously blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead in Super Bowl LI as the New England Patriots rallied for a stunning 34-28 overtime win.

He now joins a franchise that has gone 18 consecutive seasons since its last play-off victory in 2005, the third-longest active streak in the NFL, and has reached the post-season only once in the past eight seasons. 

Despite that recent lack of success, the Commanders' vacancy was considered an attractive job due to the team's newfound stability in ownership and the front office and a wealth of available salary cap space to work with this offseason.

Washington also owns the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft and is in position to select one of the three quarterbacks viewed as potential franchise players, Heisman Trophy winners Caleb Williams (USC) and Jayden Daniels (LSU) and North Carolina's Drake Maye.

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