by Nick Eatman & Rob Phillips
FRISCO, Texas - The Cowboys have officially begun the process for interviewing candidates for the vacant defensive coordinator position.
On Sunday, Falcons passing game coordinator/secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. and Panthers passing game coordinator/secondary coach Jason Simmons reportedly met with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and others. Former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is also on the interview list, according to reports.
Quinn, the Falcons' head coach from 2015-20, led Atlanta to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016 and previously served as defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks' "Legion of Boom" defense in 2013-14 that won a Super Bowl and reached another. The Falcons relieved Quinn of his head-coaching duties in October after an 0-5 start, including a 40-39 loss to the Cowboys in Week 2.
During his two years in Seattle, Quinn directed one of the most accomplished defenses in NFL history. The 2013 champion Seahawks allowed just 14.4 points per game and led the league in total and pass defense, routing the Peyton Manning-led Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Whitt Jr. spent over 10 seasons in Green Bay on McCarthy's staff. But the Falcons were 29th in total defense this past season and ranked last in the NFL in pass defense.
Like Whitt Jr., Simmons also spent nine years in Green Bay with McCarthy. This past year in Carolina, the Panthers ranked 18th in total defense and 18th against the pass.
But the Cowboys don't seem to be finished in the process.
While they've interviewed two coaches on teams that didn't make the playoffs, there are now six other teams that lost games this weekend in the playoffs and four more after next weekend.
Another name to consider is George Edwards, who spent last year on the Cowboys staff as a senior defensive assistant.
Edwards has plenty of experience as a defensive coordinator, most recently in Minnesota where he oversaw the defense for Mike Zimmer's staff for six years.
Edwards also served as the DC in Buffalo, Washington and also was the Cowboys' linebackers coach from 1998-2001.
He is expected to meet with McCarthy about the position at some point this week.
On Friday, the Cowboys parted ways with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.