The Minnesota Vikings parted ways with Mike Zimmer following the 2021-22 season, so it's been awhile. In fact, there's been so much roster turnover since Kevin O'Connell took over that it's tough to find many players who have experience with Zimmer.
However, as the Cowboys look to upgrade defensively, there are some players who thrived under Zimmer that may very well do the same in Dallas. Heck, some Vikings free agents who never even met Zimmer could probably benefit from his tutelage.
The Cowboys were forced to replace Dan Quinn on the fly when he took his talents to Washington. The rival Commanders essentially bought access to the Dallas playbook. Defensively, Zimmer's unit could look much different than Quinn's. Zimmer has plenty of experience as a defensive coordinator and is one of the best defensive minds in the sport at his best.
Zimmer is the third DC Mike McCarthy has had in his five seasons with the Cowboys. The first, Mike Nolan, did not work out well. Quinn was a godsend. Perhaps Zimmer will be somewhere in between. Signing some former Vikings might help matters.
3. Minnesota Vikings should sign a Tony Pollard replacement
Tony Pollard is set to enter free agency after a down season by his standards. Pollard took over for Ezekiel Elliott as the lead running back in 2023, but failed to provide the same punch as past years without Zeke around to take the brunt of the hits. Dallas learned what most organizations have found out in recent years -- the running back position is a brutal one, and is also replaceable.
If Pollard is unwilling to take a team-friendly deal in 2024, then perhaps the Cowboys should consider signing a cheaper option, or rolling with an in-house replacement. Cam Akers, who is set to be a free agent with the Vikings, has long struggled to stay healthy. With a balanced workload Akers remains young enough to make a real impact as a lead back.
Akers played in just seven games for Minnesota in 2023 and looked rather pedestrian, averaging under three yards per carry. However, it wouldn't be a shocker if Akers followed Zimmer to Dallas in hopes of reviving his career.
There's a reason Sean McVay liked Akers so much in 2020. He just hasn't been the same since his season-ending injury.