Cowboys star takes another veiled shot at Commanders HC Dan Quinn

The hits keep on coming.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Quinn earned his second head coaching opportunity. Transforming the Dallas Cowboys' defense into a top-tier unit with improved schematics and outstanding leadership was enough to convince the Washington Commanders he was worth a shot. Things didn't end as the former defensive coordinator would have liked, but his unit wasn't the only thing to blame after their playoff capitulation at home to the Green Bay Packers.

Quinn's focus is on what's in front of him. Those on the opposite side of the fence seem intent on throwing shade on their former coach and new rival within the NFC East. This won't matter much to Washington's man at the helm, but it's fanned the flames ahead of their two crunch divisional matchups in 2024 that's for sure.

Cowboys lacked discipline under new Commanders head coach Dan Quinn

The latest veiled swipe came from veteran safety Malik Hooker. When asked about the differences under new Dallas defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, he thought there would be enhanced discipline attached to the Cowboys' performance levels in 2024. Something the player felt was absent from Quinn's strategic game plan based on comments via Fan Nation.

"I feel like even these past couple weeks of having this new system and going out there OTAs and doing everything we've been doing, you can tell the difference of I would say discipline that we're going to be this year. If you watched a lot of our games, a lot of the big games we lost. I mean yeah, there were plays made but a lot of the time we (were) shooting ourselves in the foot jumping offsides, and giving (the other team) another fresh set of first downs. We are who we are. We were successful in the defense we played in, you know what I'm saying? We had great success and we had some downfalls in the defense."

Malik Hooker via Fan Nation

There seems to be revisionist history attached to comments emanating from the Cowboys where Quinn is concerned. They were a torrid unit before he came into the fold. He nurtured talent and turned underachievers into high-level contributors. There are plenty of players in Dallas who got paid handsomely thanks in no small part to the coach galvanizing their respective careers.

If they lacked discipline - especially pre-snap - that's on the players involved rather than a coaching issue. There's nothing Quinn can do about woeful concentration or mental errors. That was far from the primary catalyst behind another season that promised much and delivered very little when the knockout stage arrived.

Quinn is unlikely to respond to these - or any - remarks coming from Dallas. He might use them as motivation, but no more than that. He remains appreciative of his time working for Jerry Jones. Now, he'll be doing everything in his power to knock them off their perch and put the Commanders back on top.

It's a tough challenge, but the early signs are encouraging. Quinn got everyone within the Commanders working as a cohesive unit quickly. He placed high demands on his players, who had to learn new systems and familiarize themselves with one another throughout organized team activities. Washington's mandatory minicamp was a chance to watch his ambitious plans come to life.

Everyone needs a scapegoat. Quinn is an easy target for the Cowboys given he joined one of their fiercest rivals. Taking the Commanders back to relevancy will silence his critics and give Dallas plenty to think about along the way.