Cowboys assistant joins Dan Quinn due to rugged history with Mike Zimmer

Dec 10, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (73) against the
Dec 10, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (73) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will introduce Mike Zimmer as their defensive coordinator on Wednesday afternoon. The hire brings excitement to a Cowboys fan base that has otherwise been devastated since the wild card loss.

Before Zimmer gets to work fixing the Cowboys defense, he first must fill some holes on his defensive staff. Dan Quinn had already poached defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. to be his DC in Washington, while defensive line coach Aden Durde left to become the Seahawks defensive coordinator.

On Tuesday, another hole was created when Quinn hired Cowboys assistant defensive line coach Shariff Floyd to take the same position with the Commanders.

Floyd is a big loss for Zimmer and the Cowboys. You might have noticed that Floyd didn't leave for a promotion. In other words, Dallas could have blocked his move to Washington. So what gives? Why would the Cowboys allow an ascending coach like Floyd to leave for nothing?

We can't say this with absolute certainty, but Floyd and Zimmer's rocky relationship could have persuaded Floyd to join Quinn.

Cowboys DC Mike Zimmer and former assistant Sharrif Floyd have a rocky history

A former first-round pick of the VIkings in 2023, Floyd's career ended prematurely due to a knee injury. He played just 44 games in four years.

A hard-nosed coach, Zimmer has always been blunt to the media. In regard to Floyd's knee injury, Zimmer was quoted in 2016 saying he's "used to" Floyd being on the injury report and that the banged up lineman was "kind of out of sight out of mind."

In response, Floyd accused Zimmer of slandering his name in an Instagram post. The post included screenshots of quotes Zimmer made about Floyd during his injury. Per Floyd, Zimmer's comments were made days before he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in Sept. 2016.

Complications from the operation caused permanent nerve and muscle damage, which ultimately is what ended Floyd's playing career. It's unknown if Zimmer knew about Floyd's nerve damage at the time of his comments.

Two months later, Zimmer was asked why Floyd landed on injured reserve. The then-Vikings coach gave another direct answer.

“We didn’t think it would be this long, to be honest with you,” Zimmer said, according to the Pioneer Press. “We didn’t think it was going to be, like, six years worth of hurt.”

We have zero clue if Zimmer and Floyd have buried the hatchet. Maybe they did and simply aren't on good enough terms to work together. Given their past friction, though, it's really no surprise Floyd left the Cowboys just as Zimmer arrived. And the fact Dallas didn't block Floyd's move supports that notion.

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