Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn knows Kyle Shanahan well after the latter served as his offensive coordinator in Atlanta for two seasons.
This week, Quinn shed some light on his time working with Shanahan, explaining that the 49ers head coach has a "superpower" that has helped lead to his successful tenure with the 49ers.
"Kyle could coach any position on offense," Quinn told reporters after Monday's practice. "He could be an offensive line coach, quarterbacks, tight ends, he was that equipped. I thought that was one of the rare things from a coordinator standpoint to have such good detail in every single area, especially in the run game. Often times an offensive coordinator may have gotten their acumen on the way up being a quarterback person or someone whose strength is in the passing game.
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"One of Kyle's superpowers was he did every job on the way up, so he knows the run game, he knows that, so I think that's a real advantage for him. That why their run game is so strong is because he is at the front and center of it. That's one of my biggest compliments for anybody, that just carries over into the head coaching spot for him."
Quinn got to witness Shanahan's greatness up close when both were with the Falcons. Shanahan oversaw the league's highest-scoring offense in 2016, the same year Matt Ryan was named MVP for his contributions to Atlanta's potent attack.
In a follow-up to his superpower remark, Quinn was asked if his familiarity with Shanahan and his scheme offers the Cowboys any advantages ahead of their Week 5 matchup with the 49ers.
"No, I don't think so," Quinn explained. "I wish it was. Hell, I'd use it if I had that as a superpower. It's always a good matchup, I've faced Kyle a number of times, and you just want the very best there is. Great, not just from a game plan, but calling the game.
San Francisco 49ers
"Sometimes that's as important as it is, you go into a game thinking it's going to be one way, and you gotta be able to adjust and move and go, and I think that's what makes him strong. Because he may start one way, if that ain't working, he's going to go attack it in another way. I think that's the mark of a good play-caller. When your first part isn't what you thought, you gotta adjust and do it, and he's fully equipped to do that."
Quinn and Shanahan have faced off three times since the 49ers coach left Atlanta to take his current role with San Francisco. Shanahan's teams are averaging 21.3 points per game in those three matchups, which is well below their current season average of 31.2 points per game.
All three of those games were decided by one score, with Shanahan winning the last two. Both of which have come in the postseason.
It's also worth noting Quinn is the only defensive coordinator who has held the 49ers under 20 points in the 11 games that Brock Purdy has started and finished.