After the announcement that Dan Quinn was leaving the Dallas Cowboys to be the head coach of the Washington Commanders, Quinn was also able to lure defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. to serve as his defensive coordinator. Quinn was still looking to poach another name from the Cowboys coaching staff.
The #Commanders put in a request to interview #Cowboys TEs coach Lunda Wells for their offensive line coach position under Dan Quinn, but Dallas blocked the request, sources say. Wells and DQ worked together for years.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 7, 2024
While there are rules in place to prevent teams from blocking interviews for assistants in search of coordinator jobs, there are no restrictions in blocking them for interviewing as position coaches. Because this was not a coordinator position, the Cowboys blocked Washington’s request to speak with Wells. Wells has a solid foundation as an offensive line coach, serving as an assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants from 2013-2017.
The tight end position has flourished since Wells arrived with the Cowboys in 2020. Jake Ferguson is a budding star at the position and set a career-high with 71 receptions, 761 receiving yards, and five touchdowns. The team also drafted Luke Schoonmaker in the second round of last year’s draft, and keeping a consistent voice in his ear to expedite his development is paramount. Let’s not forget how quickly undrafted free agent John Stephens transitioned from college wide receiver to NFL tight end. Stephens was making progress and might have made the team if not for an injury over the summer. The Cowboys keeping Wells in the Metroplex speaks volumes of what they think of him and how vital he is to the growth of the tight ends on the team.
Quinn may not be done yet trying to poach Cowboys coaches, especially once the new defensive coordinator is named. Sometimes in these cases, the current team of the coach will block these interviews with consent from the coach in question. It is possible that Wells wanted to stay in Dallas and that was the impetus for the Cowboys refusal. Whatever the reason, the Cowboys are keeping a very successful assistant for the time being.