NFL Rumors: Familiar face throws hat in the ring for Cowboys DC gig

The Dallas Cowboys need a new defensive coordinator, so why not try to bring Mike Zimmer back?

Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Reaching into one's past is never a good idea, but the Dallas Cowboys do as good of a job as anyone in the NFL in that department. There is a fine line between honoring your former great players and coaches and bringing one of them back to serve on a staff that has to win right away. Well, that appears to be the case with Mike Zimmer having reported interest in the defensive coordinator job.

Zimmer is best known for his near-decade run leading the Minnesota Vikings. He most recently worked for one of his greatest players ever in Deion Sanders on his Jackson State staff in 2022. Zimmer also spent a great deal of time being the coordinator in Dallas and with the Cincinnati Bengals before he got hired in Minnesota. He specializes in defensive backs and he wants to keep coaching.

The only football team with as much pressure on them as do the Cowboys next year would have to be the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten. Ohio State needs to win its league and go on a deep run in the College Football Playoff for head coach Ryan Day to keep his job. As far as Mike McCarthy and his Cowboys are concerned, I don't know what the expectations actually are but they are unreasonable.

Zimmer has working knowledge of the Cowboys organization, but he last worked there in 2006...

To me, this is a better hire than doing the ole switch-a-roo in having former Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera replace Dan Quinn as Dallas' defensive coordinator, who is replacing him as the face of the Washington franchise. Regardless, I am beyond done expecting anything from Dallas.

NFL Rumors: Mike Zimmer interested in Dallas Cowboys coordinator gig

Either way, it will be interesting to see what McCarthy decides to do in rounding out his staff. Adding Zimmer feels like a low-risk, high-reward sort of proposition, but I sincerely doubt that it elevates the Cowboys' ceiling beyond what it already is: NFC Divisional Round loss with the false belief that this year will be the year they finally get back to the NFC Championship Game. I don't hate the move.

What I keep going back to with the Cowboys is, man, wouldn't it be nice to hit the reset button a bit? Making the playoffs every year is great, but Washington is about to get a generational quarterback of their choosing at No. 2 in the 2024 NFL Draft. Whether that is Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye or even Caleb Williams remains to be seen. With McCarthy and Dak Prescott, this team has a finite ceiling.

However, since Jerry Jones wants to leave well enough alone to the best of his meddling abilities, I don't have a problem with Dallas pursuing a great defensive mind and an outstanding coordinator in Zimmer. I would venture to guess that Dallas will be in the mix to win the NFC East again and win probably somewhere around 10 or so games again. This move would be in line with their timeline.

Ultimately, 2024 will be the year that either makes or breaks the Cowboys. Or ... it may just continue...

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