Every head coaching vacancy in the NFL has officially been filled. While the Super Bowl has yet to be played, as soon as the season’s final game is over all focus around the league will be on the 2022 season.
Speaking of the upcoming campaign with all coach vacancies filled we now fully know which coaches the Dallas Cowboys will be squaring off against. The list features three first-times and five new coaches altogether.
Tony Casillas and I discussed this idea (along with his memories of playing in the Super Bowl in Los Angeles) on the latest episode of The 75O on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you do not miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Absent from the list of new head coaches around the NFL are the names of both Cowboys coordinators, Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore. It is strange to think back to the days of early November when it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Dallas was going to have to replace the leaders of both their offense and defense.
Obviously the second half of the season saw the offense take several steps back, but the defense continued to shine which added to the worry that Quinn would be leaving. Now that we know both are returning. How surprised are we by this?
It seemed impossible for both Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore to return to the Cowboys in 2022
When it comes to Dan Quinn the narrative (not denying it by any means) seems to be that he is not a head coach at the moment because he does not want to be. The likely destination for Quinn seemed to be either the Chicago Bears or Denver Broncos, but with them going with Matt Eberflus and Nathaniel Hackett, respectively, we quickly saw the Cowboys DC remove himself from consideration from anywhere else (he never really showed interest in the Jacksonville Jaguars job).
Obviously we do not know how into Quinn the New York Giants or Minnesota Vikings were, but both ultimately landed head coaches in Brian Daboll and Kevin O’Connell, again respectively, who are offensive-minded. Quinn would have been the exact opposite direction for either club. Whatever the case, Quinn is back and seemingly going to be an option to lead a team in 2023, perhaps the Seattle Seahawks like many speculate he ultimately wants.
But on the subject of offensive-minded coaches, it is strange that Kellen Moore did not become a head coach this cycle. Over the last two years he has now interviewed for several openings and wound up returning to the Cowboys in both instances. The reason that this is particularly interesting is that unlike Quinn, the Cowboys OC fits the mold for what most teams seem to be looking for in our current moment.
There are obviously defensive-minded head coaches who are hired by teams and Dan Quinn might very well be one of them in the future, but the truly vogue thing seems to be a young offensive mind. Just look at the two head coaches in the Super Bowl in Sean McVay and Zac Taylor as an example of that. They are both offensive-driven and under the age of 40.
The aforementioned Kevin O’Connell is an offensive-minded coach under the age of 40. Mike McDaniel, whom the Miami Dolphins chose over Kellen Moore, also fits the bill. Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski was hired two years ago but is also part of this sector. Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett is a super old 42, but he also hails from the offensive side of the ball.
Factoring in the success that Moore has had and the team that he has had it with, it does remain strange that he is 0-for-2 on head coaching cycles. Perhaps next year will be the difference. Who knows.