Analyst reveals overlooked motivational tool for Dan Quinn in 2024

Dan Quinn's made a good start, but more is needed.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn's off to a tremendous start as Washington Commanders head coach. He's brought a level of professionalism and conviction that was seldom seen over Ron Rivera's final two seasons. Players are buying into his methods and the practice energy has enhanced considerably under his leadership.

It'll take much more, but Quinn's supreme credentials brought instant legitimacy to Washington's ambitious plans under Josh Harris' ownership group. However, the former Dallas Cowboys defense coordinator does have plenty of questions to answer heading into his second head coaching opportunity.

The Cowboys moved heaven and earth to keep Quinn from becoming an NFL head coach in 2022. They were more than willing to let him go this time around - even to a division rival - following another playoff capitulation where his defense crumbled versus an upstart Green Bay Packers outfit on home soil.

Commanders can improve under head coach Dan Quinn in 2024

Dallas' media outfits have been quick to scrutinize and ridicule Quinn before and after he was hired by the Commanders. That won't matter much to him. What's important is ignoring the outside noise and repaying the faith shown in him by Adam Peters and others involved in the decision-making process.

Adam Rank from was supportive of Quinn's appointment when examining the Commanders' chances in 2024. He also believes that one poor postseason outing shouldn't erase the exceptional contribution he made to the Cowboys overall. In other words, write him off at your peril.

"Well, it seemed inevitable that, at some point, [Dan] Quinn was going to be a head coach again, given the success he had as defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys over the past few seasons -- especially in 2023, when Dallas ranked fifth in yards and points allowed. Quinn is a talented coach who led the Falcons to the Super Bowl during his last tenure in the big chair, and Dallas' defense improved in each of his three seasons as the Cowboys' DC. Yes, allowing the Packers' offense to score six touchdowns in the playoff loss to Green Bay left a bad taste, but don't let that erase everything that DQ accomplished in Big D."

Adam Rank,

If anything, Quinn's failure to stop quarterback Jordan Love and the Packers should serve as extra motivation. He'll have learned a lot from that setback and how things ended as Atlanta Falcons head coach. Positively harnessing this will only serve him well with the Commanders.

Quinn will be the first to admit things won't be perfect all the time. The Commanders will go through plenty of ups and downs during his first season. Keeping everyone motivated, ensuring the same standards are maintained throughout, and being more fundamentally sound in all phases should keep complications to a minimum.

Some analysts wonder if Quinn could be on the hot seat if significant strides aren't taken in 2024. Everyone knows the Commanders were high on Ben Johnson before he opted to stay in Detroit. He might not be everyone's choice, but Peters and Harris are going to adopt a patient approach unless there's a complete capitulation with so much optimism among the fanbase.

Quinn isn't short of desire to enhance his already accomplished reputation. How he copes with the added spotlight glaring will go a long way to determining his fortunes.