Cowboys go back to Super Bowl roots with defensive coordinator hire

  • Mike Zimmer was an assistant on the Cowboys' 1995 Super Bowl team
  • He has years of DC experience and schematic versatility
  • But his most recent defenses weren't anything to write home about

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer
Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones appears shockingly committed to remaking the Dallas Cowboys in the image of the NFC North. He's ready to pair former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy with former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

Of course, Zimmer was a Cowboy first. A Cowboys assistant coach from 1994 to 2006, Zimmer was a member of the staff that last won a Super Bowl in Dallas. He is now expected to be hired as the defensive coordinator to replace Dan Quinn.

That's according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Mike Zimmer expected to become Cowboys defensive coordinator

Zimmer is certainly a recognizable name for Cowboys fans. He joined the staff as a defensive assistant in 1994 and served as defensive backs coach from 1995 to 1999. He was an obvious choice to become defensive coordinator in 2000.

After leaving the Cowboys in 2007 following the retirement of Bill Parcells, he served as the defensive coordinator for the Falcons and Bengals. In 2014, he got his first head coaching gig with the Vikings. He posted a 72-56 record in eight seasons in Minnesota before he was fired following the 2021 season.

Instead of pursuing a return to the NFL in 2022, he served as an analyst for Deion Sanders at Jackson State. Now he's ready to jump back into the pros with a Super Bowl contender.

The pros of hiring Zimmer include a wealth of experience and schematic versatility. He has been a successful defensive coordinator in the NFL and has run both a 4-3 and 3-4 in his career.

However, the cons are obvious. He hasn't properly coached in two years and hasn't been a full-time defensive coordinator in a decade. His defenses at the tail end of his time with the Vikings were pretty awful.

Jones and McCarthy have been searching for a DC to help them get over the hump and back to the Super Bowl. Mike Nolan was swiftly replaced by Quinn after a miserable 2020 campaign defensively. Quinn got the defense rolling over the last three seasons but vulnerabilities against the run and in big games doomed them.

It's Zimmer's job to bring it all together, if he's able.

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