If Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is a potential candidate to be the Seattle Seahawks’ next head coach, Sunday’s NFL Wild Card disaster against the Green Bay Packers might have been the ultimate dealbreaker.
Jordan Love and Green Bay’s very young, upstart offense torched Quinn’s defense. It was a stunningly lopsided performance against a Cowboys team that hadn’t lost at home since Week 1 of the 2022 season. Love was 16/21 for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns, looking like a seasoned veteran and not a first-year starter. He was making some great throws but the Cowboys were also allowing Packers receivers to get wide open.
Aaron Jones, one of the few veterans on the Packers offense, rushed for 3 touchdowns and 118 yards against a Dallas defense that has been susceptible to the run throughout the season.
The Cowboys rank highly by DVOA and EPA/play and a lot of other metrics, but that comes with a major caveat. There’s nothing wrong with destroying bad teams and bad quarterbacks, but you also have to actually show up against good offenses and/or quarterbacks. That is absent in this year’s Cowboys unit.
The Cowboys' defense is absolutely incredible against bad QBs (just look at the names on the bottom of this!) but is it reasonable to expect them to be a difference-maker in the playoffs? I dunno... pic.twitter.com/dJ7pSd7EvC— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) January 8, 2024
This was also pretty notable given the struggles of the Seattle Seahawks.
Cowboys defense: 24th in DVOA on passes up the middle.— Aaron Schatz (@ASchatzNFL) January 14, 2024
The Packers scored 6 touchdowns of their first 7 possessions before shutting it down. Subtracting the pick-6 thrown by Dak Prescott, the Pack had 41 offensive points (with a missed PAT). It’s the 2nd most points the Cowboys have ever allowed under Quinn, and the most at home. Dallas had a fake comeback and lost 48-32, but the game was not that close. It was historically bad for Dallas. Most points allowed in a home playoff game in modern NFL history, and even when you take out the pick-6 it’s still the most points the Cowboys have ever given up in any postseason contest.
Most points allowed at home in playoffs:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) January 15, 2024
Washington 73-0 loss to Bears 1940 NFL title game
Cowboys 48 so far today vs Packers
Steelers 48-37 loss to Browns 2020 wild card
Falcons 48-21 loss to Packers 2010 division round
Green Bay only ran 54 offensive plays, so they averaged 0.76 offensive points per play.
The Seahawks haven’t had any formal interviews with head coach candidates, in which case Quinn is now available thanks to Dallas’ elimination. I cannot imagine that he’d be a popular choice given this massive embarrassment.