Robert Quinn ready to 'pin my ears back' with 'Boys

Though he was traded to the Cowboys, defensive end Robert Quinn was able to visit potential suitors and the final verdict came down to Dallas and the New Orleans Saints.

It came to be that Miami, after just one season of residence on the Dolphins defensive line, shipped Quinn to the Lone Star State and thus far he has impressed the staff and been pleased with his decision considering how well he's fit thus far.

"Sometimes your gut leads you in the right direction," Quinn told SportsDay. "I had people chirping in my ear both ways, but I just kind of relied on my gut, and so far it's been a great transition for me."

Quinn, who was swapped for a 2020 sixth-round pick, was attracted to the attacking nature of the Dallas defense. While the Cowboys' D was stellar last season en route to winning an NFC East title, sacks weren't exactly in abundance. Demarcus Lawrence's 10.5 sacks were a team-high, with Randy Gregory's six sitting at second and the team's 39.0 tying the team for 16th across the NFL. Fine, but certainly not great. Perhaps Quinn can change all that.

"Specifically, I guess it was the way they allow the D-line to play, fly around, have fun," Quinn said. "Then the linebackers and the secondary and what they have, you combine that with, not a freestyle D-line, but we get to attack and get in the backfield I think more than we can in other places.

"I think it was kind of one of those where I get to have fun, pin my ears back and just disrupt the backfield, which is what they want us to do."

In eight seasons (seven with the Rams, one with the Dolphins), Quinn has earned a pair of Pro Bowl bids. One of those came in a flat-out phenomenal 2013 campaign no doubt lost in the struggles of a 7-9 St. Louis Rams season. An All-Pro honor came to be for Quinn as he produced a league-high 23 tackles for a loss to go with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

Now that Quinn finds himself in a defense that he believes is suited for his skill set, maybe the Quinn of old could be poised for another impact season.

"I've just really been impressed with his work habits here," Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. "He's a real pro. He comes to work every day. Effort. Details. He doesn't say much. And I'm telling you, he's really going to be a good run defender, just like D-Law."

A season ago, Quinn lined up opposite of Cameron Wake and led Miami with 6.5 sacks. The year prior, he was alongside Aaron Donald with the Rams and his 8.5 sacks complemented Donald's team-leading 11.

In the least, it would seem Quinn is positioned to complement one of the league's finest pass rushers in Lawrence, but should Quinn, still just 29, pin back his ears and find his stride, the Cowboys could have one of the most potent pass-rushing duos in the NFL.