The Dallas Cowboys haven't officially hired Mike Zimmer to be their defensive coordinator, but all signs point toward an agreement being finalized soon. It appears both sides haven't worked out the particulars of Zimmer's contract. Once that's hammered out, Zimmer will presumably join Mike McCarthy's staff.
Overall, the Cowboys' search for a defensive coordinator wasn't dragged out. After Wink Martindale and Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel entered the picture on Wednesday, it was speculated the hiring process could stretch into next week.
The second it was reported that Zimmer interviewed, though, it seemed written in the stars that Dallas would hire the 67-year-old. Fans were taken for a spin when insiders reported Zimmer was interested in the job. Though exciting, it was strange to see Zimmer put himself out there.
As it turns out, though, Zimmer's initial interest might be attributed to one Mike McCarthy, who reportedly reached out to the former Vikings head coach the same day Dan Quinn left to become the Commanders head coach, per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.
Mike McCarthy reached out to Mike Zimmer after Dan Quinn left the Cowboys
"Quinn informed the Cowboys on Feb. 1 that he was leaving to become the head coach of the Washington Commanders. A series of meetings at The Star over the course of that day resolved that the club would expand its search beyond internal candidates."
"McCarthy reached out to Zimmer that evening, a person with knowledge of how the process unfolded told The News," Moore reported.
It's always easy to pile on McCarthy, but credit where it's due: It was pure genius on McCarthy's part to reach out to Zimmer hours after Quinn left for Washington. It stands to reason McCarthy reached out Zimmer before Jerry Jones contacted any of the reported candidates who interviewed for the DC job. That's a big deal.
McCarthy and Zimmer have never coached together, but they formed a mutual respect for one another during their days with the Packers and Vikings, respectively. They coached against one another for five years.
Additionally, McCarthy has a track record of hiring former head coaches to his staff. Before Zimmer (assuming his contract is finalized), Dom Capers, Mike Pettine, Mike Nolan and Dan Quinn all served as McCarthy's defensive coordinator.
Zimmer's history with the Cowboys and the Jones family likely played a big role in his decision to rejoin the team. He was with the team both as an assistant and defensive coordinator for 13 years from 1994-2006.
Make no mistake, though: McCarthy's presence and gesture after Quinn's departure absolutely had major influence on Zimmer's decision as well.