Cowboys' Mike Zimmer hire all but rules out trade for star WR

Nov 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on prior
Nov 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on prior / Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl just passed and Dallas Cowboys fans are desperate to get to March after Jerry Jones promised to go all in this offseason. Does hiring Mike Zimmer to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator qualify as an all-in move? That's open for interpretation, but there's reason to be excited about the hire.

Zimmer's defenses have almost always stopped the run. He's had seven top five defenses as a defensive coordinator and seven top 10 rushing defenses. With that in mind, it stands to reason Zimmer will emphasize improving the spine of the Cowboys defense, which was a glaring weakness.

There's also the possibility of Zimmer bringing in players from his Vikings tenure. That obviously depends on who's available, but this is very common around the NFL once former coordinators and coaches find new homes.

There is one former Zimmer player who likely won't be following the 67-year-old to the Cowboys, however. That player is Stefon Diggs.

Cowboys hiring Mike Zimmer as their defensive coordinator all but rules out Stefon Diggs trade.

Trade speculation surrounding Diggs is all the rage after he stoked rumors by ghosting the media following the Bills' playoff loss to the Chiefs. Diggs even dropped a cryptic quote on his future at the Pro Bowl Games.

Diggs seemingly didn't appreciate being fazed out of the offense in the second half of the season. He added he "rolled with the punches" after the Bills fired offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and appointed Joe Brady as his replacement.

Diggs still saw plenty of targets, but his production plummeted. He last crossed 100 yards in an October game against the Giants. In the playoff loss, Diggs was targeted eight times and caught three passes for 21 yards.

The former All-Pro could demand a trade when all is said and done, but he didn't exactly have a glowing relationship with Zimmer. In fact, Diggs was traded to Buffalo during Zimmer's reign as Vikings head coach, a full two seasons before Zimmer was fired by Minnesota.

After the trade, Diggs revealed he took issue with the Vikings offensive philosophy.

“(The Vikings) were kind of gearing towards a run-heavy (offense) at that time," Diggs said on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown in 2020. "I didn’t know it going in. I didn’t know it was going to be that way. They only would allow me to do so much. In my eyes, it wasn’t going to be in the best interest of my career.”

"People were kind of, I’m not going to say peeing on me and telling me that it’s raining, that’s a little bit harsh. But once you don’t have trust with the person. It’s hard to do business.”

It's hard to say who "the person" in question was, but we lean towards Zimmer. It's unclear why Diggs was so blindsided by the Vikings wanting to be a run-first team. As a head coach, Zimmer's offenses have always been built around the run. In fact, the year they went 13-3 and went to the NFC Championship they ran the ball the second most of any team.

It's unclear if Diggs still doesn't "trust" Zimmer of if they repaired their relationship behind the scenes in the four years since the trade. Regardless, the fact their player-coach relationship was tarnished to begin with suggests the Cowboys won't be moving heaven and earth to bring Diggs to Dallas.

Not that they would have if they didn't hire Zimmer, but his arrival as DC all but rules out a trade for Diggs.

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