New York Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel is set to interview with the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, as reported by ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Manuel, 44, previously held the position of defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in both 2017 and 2018, working under then-head coach Dan Quinn, who coincidentally served as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator from 2021 to 2023. Quinn has since moved on to become the head coach of the Washington Commanders.
Following his tenure with the Falcons, Manuel took on the role of defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020 before joining the Jets as their safeties coach in 2021.
His NFL playing career spanned from 2002 to 2009, during which he played safety for six different teams, including the 2006 Green Bay Packers, led by current Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.
Manuel’s coaching journey began with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012, where he steadily progressed to become the assistant secondary coach in 2014 and eventually the secondary coach for the Falcons in 2015.
He had the opportunity to work alongside defensive guru Dan Quinn, who notably orchestrated the renowned “Legion of Boom” defense during his time with the Seahawks.
Despite facing challenges, such as key injuries affecting his defense during his tenure with the Falcons, Manuel earned praise from Quinn when his contract wasn’t renewed after the 2018 season. Quinn expressed confidence in Manuel’s abilities, stating that he believed Manuel deserved the opportunity to call plays for a defense.
While Manuel has yet to receive such an opportunity, the vacant defensive coordinator position in Dallas presents a potential opening for him.
However, he faces competition for the role, with candidates including current Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde, former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, former Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, and former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, according to Cowboys.com staff writer Nick Harris.