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Hire Coach Mike Zimmer? Cowboys Prepare to Lose Dan Quinn & Joe Whitt Jr.

Cowboys Could Lose Dan Quinn & Joe Whitt Jr. as Seahawks Seek Coach Interview; Then What?

FRISCO - Dan Quinn got the top job as the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator a year ago, and the team was also able to retain George Edwards - who applied for the same job - to work under him as a senior assistant who has been coaching linebackers.

Next year, Dallas' defense might be Edwards' - especially if both Quinn and another top assistant, Joe Whitt Jr., depart Dallas.

Also in play, we're told: a reunion with former top defensive assistant Mike Zimmer, recently fired as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

An NFL source tells that should Quinn leave after this season - he's now fielding interview requests for virtually every NFL opening and is being "zeroed in on'' by the Denver Broncos - there is support inside The Star for the elevation of Edwards.

But as we've noted all along: Other possibilities will exist, including the elevation of staffer Joe Whitt Jr., though he could go with Quinn, or move in another scenario, and the reunion with Mike Zimmer (with deep Jones family ties).

But tap the brakes on elevating Whitt - or on having him leave with Quinn.On Wednesday night, NFL Network is reporting that the Seattle Seahawks, who just dismissed defensive coordinator Ken Norton (the former Cowboys player), want to interview Whitt for that vacancy.

At this point, the Cowboys might feel fortunate if Edwards stays.

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"Edwards,'' one source said, "is the smartest, toughest teacher in the building.''

Edwards has experience as a coordinator, most famously in Minnesota, where he oversaw the defense for Zimmer. Edwards has grown close to head coach Mike McCarthy and is instrumental in helping Quinn oversee a Dallas defense that has experienced a great turnaround in the year, with its 12-5 record and playoff berth. Edwards is also a key teacher for star rookie Micah Parsons, who will win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and get Defensive Player of the Year votes as well.

Whitt (who is Dallas holds the title of "defensive passing game coordinator/secondary'' is also highly qualified, and has ties to both Quinn and Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy. A source tells us that Quinn would want to take Cowboys D-line coach Aden Durde with him at his new job.

Assuming Quinn departs, he will be missed. But between Edwards, Zimmer, Whitt and others, the Cowboys are already preparing for that, hoping to not miss a beat. ... while hoping to not lose too many assistants.

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