The search is finally over. It was reported on Monday, hopefully for the last time, that the Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms with Mike Zimmer to be their defensive coordinator. It was originally reported last Thursday just as the NFL Honors got underway, that Dallas hired Zimmer.
Things came to a screeching halt over the weekend, however. Rex Ryan revealed on national television that Zimmer wasn't a done deal. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday and added that the Cowboys "loved" Ryan, implying that the former Jets coach gave a strong interview.
That left Cowboys fans in limbo. Did Zimmer's negotiations hit a snag? Did Ryan's interview change Jerry Jones' mind? The Cowboys have fumbled contract negotiations in the past and folks feared they were on the cusp of doing it again.
As it turns out, the panic was for naught. The only reason an agreement got delayed is because Jones was in las Vegas for the Super Bowl, as Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News shared when he broke the news.
Cowboys officially hire Mike Zimmer, Jerry Jones to blame for delayed agreement
Of course it was Jerry Jones.
Look, nobody's faulting Jones for attending the Super Bowl. Multiple current and former Cowboys players showed up to Allegiant Stadium to watch the Chiefs topple the 49ers in an overtime thriller. One would think, though, that Jones would have locked up Zimmer as the team's defensive coordinator before he departed for Vegas.
It left the door open for speculation and potentially for Zimmer to back out of the deal. Perhaps Jones left no doubt in Zimmer's mind before he departed for Vegas that he was Dallas' top choice to replace Dan Quinn and that a contract would be ironed out upon his return.
Who knows how it all went down. What matters is the Cowboys got their guy and the hire is worth getting excited about as Zimmer has a long track record of producing top-level defenses. His commitment to stopping the run and having strong play in the trenches and at linebacker are highly encouraging as those were arguably Dallas' two greatest pitfalls this season.
Better still? The timing of the hire gives Zimmer over a month to coordinate with the front office about how to attack the offseason.
What started as a boring search turned into an exhausting process. That's become the expectation with Jones at the helm.
Better late than never, though, right?