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How Dan Quinn’s 4-3 Could Dominate in Arizona

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Background: Oct 8, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) reacts after a sack against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Cardinals’ interest in Cowboys’ DC Dan Quinn is how his vaunted 4-3 defense would look in Cardinals’ red.

Imagine a 4-3 alignment that would look like this:

  • LDE Cameron Thomas —- 69.9
  • NT Siaki Ika** —-74.5
  • DT Zach Allen (UFA ARI)—- 72.7
  • RDE DeMarcus Walker (UFA TEN) —- 72.8

  • SOLB Will Anderson Jr ** —-83.2
  • MB Zaven Collins —- 59.8
  • WOLB Isaiah Simmons —- 67.9 (this 4-3 WOLB position is ideal for #9)

  • LCB Jamel Dean (UFA TB) —- 77.9
  • SS Jalen Thompson —-65.0
  • FS Budda Baker —- 74.5
  • RCB Marco Wilson —- 55.3

  • NCB Clark Phillips III** —-85.2
  • Nickel Edge Rusher —- Myjai Sanders —-53.5 (3 sacks, 17 QB pressures in 2022)

Mock Simulation Du Jour:


  • If the Colts want their QBOF, then I believe the Cardinals could acquire their 1st and 2nd round picks. The Cardinals should have other trade offers and they could use that as leverage with the Colts.
  • Thus, the Cardinals could move down one spot and still be able to select Will Anderson Jr., who would project to be the Cardinals’ version of Micah Parson’s role in Quinn’s defense.
  • Adding Siaki Ika at NT in R2, plus arguably the best slot CB cover man in the draft in Clark Phillips would be a coup. Don’t pay attention to PFFs grade on taking Phillips in R2. His PFF 82.4 PFF grade tells you how good he is in the slot. Phillips’ 82.4 was 24th best in USA out of 917 CBs, which is the 2nd highest raking of CBs in this draft, 2nd to Mississippi St ‘s Emmanuel Forbes 87.2 (17th). Forbes would be a very good pick here too, but I think Phillips is too nifty in the slot to pass up and he’s a quicker/speedier matchup for Deebo Samuel, Tyler Lockett and Cooper Kupp.
  • WR Jalin Hyatt (77.4) is one of the longer speed WRs in the draft. He might be taken before #66, and if so, Rashee Rice of SMU (85.9) would be another fine pick in a similar mold here.
  • Addressed the OL with C Luke Wypler (85.2), G Andrew Vorhees (81.9) and T Jaelyn Duncan (61.7).
  • Addressed DI depth with Zach Pickens (67.3) and D.J. Dale (80.5).
  • RB Tyjae Spears (90.2) is gifted and highly versatile.
  • Addressed TE depth in Josh Whyle (69.9) and Camerson Latu (58.0).
  • CB DJ Turner (77.4) would be a steal at #180.
  • QB Jaren Hall (86.3) may be the Brock Purdy of this year's draft.


  • Re-signing Zack Allen is the Cardinals’ top UFA priority.
  • DeMarkus Walker is coming off an 8 sack season with the Titans and he was one of MO’s top under-the-radar UFA signings last year. Another 4-3 type UFA DE with ties to assistant GM Dave Sears is the Lions’ John Cominsky (68.3) who registered 8 Saks and 44 QB pressures in 2022).
  • The Cardinals should be able to sign at least one splash UFA and CB Jamel Dean would be a huge addition. While it would be great to see the Cardinals re-sign Byron Murphy, he might price himself out of the Cardinals’ comfort zone in light of Murphy’s games missed and his struggles down the stretch in past years.
  • In the next mock, UFA signings will be added on offense.

What do you think of this model for Dan Quinn’s 4-3?