Why'd Whitt Leave Dallas For Commanders? - Sport News

Why’d Whitt Leave Dallas For Commanders?

Just one day after the Dallas Cowboys introduced Mike Zimmer as defensive coordinator, the Washington Commanders held one of their own.

Why'd Whitt Leave Dallas For Commanders?

Head coach Dan Quinn introduced former Cowboys secondary coach and pass-game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. as his D.C. defensive coordinator. The two left Dallas for promotions within the division and thus got the challenge of facing their former teammates twice per season. …

With some wondering why Whitt – who is on record as saying he always “dreamed” of working with “The Star – left at all.

In the presser, Whitt spoke about his decision to follow Quinn to Washington and what fans can expect from his defense. It seems no factor weighed more heavily than the chance to continue working with Quinn, the man, rather than the coach.

“He’s just the best human being I’ve been around in football,” Whitt said. “Take the football part out of it. When I moved to Atlanta, he wrote hand-written notes to my kids. I’ve never had a coach do that.

“That’s what type of dude this is. So I’m all in.”

Relationships are integral to building staffs and Whitt couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to finally become an NFL defensive coordinator. His coaching career began before making the jump to the NFL ranks in 2007 (he’d return there under Quinn in 2020. He spent the bulk of his coaching career with the Green Bay Packers. He arrived as a defensive quality control coach in 2008 before taking over as head coach Mike McCarthy’s cornerback coach from 2009-2017. He spent 2018 as the team’s passing-game coordinator.

So why not stay in Dallas?

Quinn offered Whitt job security that McCarthy – who he eventually followed to Dallas – probably could not have. Many figure McCarthy is entering a lame-duck year with the Cowboys and will be out if a deep playoff run isn’t in the cards. Assuming utter disaster doesn’t strike Washington, Whitt can expect to have his job for multiple seasons.

Whitt – who will now be a first-time coordinator – surely saw some writing on the wall in regard to Dallas possibly wanting to hire a vet coordinator. That’s what the Joneses have habitually done, and it’s what McCarthy used to do in Green Bay. So Mike Zimmer gets the job in Dallas.

And Whitt? In his expectations for what the Commanders defense will look like, Whitt notably spoke about traits that his last defense, as good as Dallas was … may have lacked.

“We’re going to be a run-and-hit defense,” he said. “We are going to run and put our bodies on people in a violent manner.”

Of course, Dallas’ physicality didn’t necessarily shine through in its 48-32 Wild Card loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Whitt also credited Quinn with being open to new ideas, something he values in a boss.

“As a coach, he allows you to be creative,” Whitt said. “He wants you to think outside the box. … We have coaches from different trees, and we did that by design because we wanted to have ideas outside from what I’ve did in my past.”

Washington isn’t expected to be immediately competitive, but being feisty could be enough to do damage in a chaotic NFC East. Improving more than the Cowboys could put a dent in the reliable wins Dallas has farmed from their division rivals.

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