Key to Victory: Dan Quinn Set Cowboys Up For Success Against LA

Image from All Fans

Sunday’s victory in Southern California over the Los Angeles Chargers may have marked a turning point for the Cowboys organization. Last season, the Cowboys dealt with devastating injuries, particularly along the defensive line, that impacted the 6-10 outcome of the season. When injury reports surfaced last week that star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence broke his foot and Randy Gregory tested positive for Covid-19, it appeared that history was repeating itself.

Then the Cowboys went into SoFi stadium and neutralized a Chargers attack known for big plays from a wiley second-year quarterback and a ground game that can punish a defense from numerous angles. The Cowboys did it with a rotating mixture of players, some of whom have practically no experience playing at the position they were asked to fill.

Most of the reason the Cowboys defense had success against LA and didn’t fall victim to the kinds of holes in coverage that seemed to happen too often last season is not because of better players. It’s because of Dan Quinn, the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator.

Quinn called a fearless game and leaned on players like first-round pick Micah Parsons to step up from linebacker to defensive end to prevent the Chargers offense from having its way with the Cowboys. Anyone who watched the game noticed the prolific penalty calls against LA that stalled drives and took points off the board. This wasn’t a case of biased refs, either. The calls against the Chargers came because the offensive line couldn’t keep Cowboys defenders out of the backfield.

Chargers center Corey Linsley is an All-Pro player who just got a big contract. He is no stranger to protection schemes, and he has the skills to shut down most defensive rushers. Against the Cowboys, Linsley had two holding penalties and consistently struggled against the Cowboys’ pass rush. And Parsons, who faced off against the Chargers backup tackle Storm Norton, demonstrated why he was a number one pick. Norton was guilty of at least one holding call, while Parsons consistently pressured the QB.

The ten offensive penalties committed by the Chargers show that Quinn understood exactly what Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi had up his sleeve and how to maximize the shuffled defense to take advantage. Quinn and Lombardi have a history together, which didn’t make headlines in the lead-up to the week two match-up. Quinn and Lombardi coached together during part of the Atlanta Falcons organization.

The difference between 2020 and 2021 couldn’t be more apparent. For Cowboys fans, the knowledge that even when a few of the critical starters are down and out, the newly revamped defense will find ways to not only compete but dominate regardless of the challenge they face. While Chargers fans may blame the penalties for the loss -and a few of the calls were suspect- the reality is that Quinn beat Lombardi on Sunday, which gave the Cowboys the edge they needed to win. When the Cowboys face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, the team expects defensive end, Randy Gregory, back from Covid protocol, allowing Parsons to move into the linebacker spot. The Cowboys overcame the significant injuries and put out a dominating performance shows that Quinn has brought a different attitude to America’s Team, and a few missing pieces won’t deter the defense.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article