The Atlanta Falcons fired Dan Quinn as head coach early in the season, while the Dallas Cowboys axed defensive coordinator Mike Nolan at the end of the regular season. It didn’t take long for the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator to take the same position in Dallas.
Source: The #Cowboys have an agreement for Dan Quinn to be their new DC— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2021
Curiously, the Falcons defense that struggled throughout Quinn’s tenure as head coach considerably improved after his firing. Atlanta finished 14th in DVOA and 20th in EPA/play, way up from when they were in the 30s in both categories at the time he was canned in Week 5. We remember Quinn much more fondly for being the DC of Seattle in 2013 and 2014, the peak of the Seahawks’ defensive dominance and not coincidentally the two years they went to the Super Bowl.
Dallas was 23rd in DVOA and 21st in EPA/play, very disappointing for a unit that greatly underperformed and looked every bit as bad as the Seahawks defense did at the start of the season. Mike Nolan, funnily enough, last held a DC job in Atlanta from 2012-2014 and was fired after they were rotten in pretty much every metric possible.
This is the second notable Seahawks assistant to head to Dallas in recent years. Kris Richard was the secondary coach, defensive play caller and passing game coordinator before he was let go in 2020. He remains available for hire.