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Report: Dan Quinn has informed the Cowboys that he is returning as their defensive coordinator

The Broncos coaching search is dwindling.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

According to NFL Networks insider Tom Pelissero, Dan Quinn has informed the Dallas Cowboys that he is returning to be their defensive coordinator next season. Quinn was a favorite for the Broncos job from the beginning and had an interview with them, but in the end, Quinn is once again returning to the Cowboys.

Quinn just finished up a second interview with the Arizona Cardinals and had another one lined up with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, but that obviously will not happen. Despite being a favorite for the Broncos job, Quinn never had a second interview lined up with the team and is now out of the running for the Broncos job.

So, this removes a second candidate from the Broncos candidates list. Jim Harbaugh returned to Michigan while Dan Quinn returned to the Cowboys. Sean Payton appears to be out of the running with his leaking of issues with the ownership. So, that leaves frontrunner DeMeco Ryans, former Stanford coach David Shaw, veteran coach Jim Caldwell, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero as the remaining candidates.

From there, you can obviously pick Ryans as a finalist and probably David Shaw because of his relationship with Condoleezza Rice. After that? It gets pretty bleak. Jim Caldwell is nearly 70 years old and Raheem Morris and Ejiro Evero do not seem like legit candidates for this job. So, it appears it is down to DeMeco Ryans or David Shaw.

Again, DeMeco Ryans appear to be their frontrunner per multiple reports and likely will meet with the team sometime early next week. If the 49ers lose to the Eagles this weekend, he could be hired as soon as Monday. If they move on to the Super Bowl, he cannot be officially hired until after the Super Bowl but can agree to be the team's head coach.

If things with Ryans fall through, it appears the Broncos would then pivot to David Shaw as their backup option. I still feel like he’ll land a spot on the coaching staff regardless, but for now, appears to be their “plan B” in this coaching search.