FRISCO - Dan Quinn is the hottest name in this NFL head-coach search cycle. But fellow Dallas Cowboys assistant Kellen Moore is getting a first crack on Tuesday.
That first opportunity relates specifically to the Denver Broncos vacancy, with sources telling CowboysSI.com that Moore, the Dallas offensive coordinator, began a meeting led by Broncos GM George Paton at 11:30 a.m. CT.
The meeting is being conducted at a Dallas-area restaurant, in a private dining room, and also features other prominent members of the Broncos front office, that group traveling here from Denver via private jet.
UPDATE: The Broncos announced they'd completed the meeting with Moore at 4:36. We know the meeting lasted more than three hours.
Additionally, we are told, the Broncos - who we reported a week ago are zeroing in on Quinn, to the point where we believe their Paton has been interviewing "head coach candidates'' who are actually candidates to become Quinn's coordinators - will turn their attention to the Quinn interview with a "late-afternoon'' meeting, also to be conducted in North Texas.
Both Moore and Quinn have a series of other meetings set up this week.
And no, Sunday's 23-17 loss to the Niners doesn't really change any of that.
Moore, 33, has already interviewed remotely with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins are also connected to him in their search. Sources tell us that Moore entered this Broncos meeting "dressed casually'' but confident in his ability to explain his vision for becoming a first-time head coach.
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Quinn, 51, has generously given Moore advice about the process. Sources tell us he and Paton are "already on the same page'' regarding a vision for the Broncos.
Quinn keeps saying pro-Dallas things "(I love it here!'') and inspiringly passionate things that have convinced some in Cowboys Nation that after nine months in Frisco, he's "Cowboys for Life.''
Last February, he did buy an expensive home in Plano. But otherwise, there is a Cowboys understanding that he is likely to move on. Quinn will interview with the Chicago Bears, Dolphins and Vikings this week, all following his Broncos visit. Dallas could elevate assistant George Edwards or Joe Whitt to his coordinator spot, and should also be attracted to names like Mike Zimmer and Vic Fangio. (Again, the facts say the Cowboys are preparing to lose Quinn; see replacement ideas here. ... Additionally, Quinn will surely want to take an assistant or two with him. We're working on that angle.)
Meanwhile, head coach Mike McCarthy - on a hot seat of sorts following the loss but "absolutely'' returning, according to COO Stephen Jones - might also need to choose a Moore successor. He's close to special assistant Ben McAdoo, and staffer Doug Nussmeier is among the names with support in the building.
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