3 rumored Cowboys defensive coordinator candidates ranked from worst to best

Cleveland Browns v Minnesota Vikings
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1. Mike Zimmer

Who would've thought, right? It's unclear if the Cowboys will interview Mike Zimmer, but the Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that Zimmer is interested in the job. Zimmer actually served as Cowboys defensive coordinator from 2000-06, so he has experience working under Jerry Jones.

That is vitally important, as is his history as a head coach. We all know the Joneses love targeting old school coaches who have robust resumes and Zimmer fits that bill. It's what drew them to Mike McCarthy back in 2020 and would explain why Ron Rivera is already slated for an interview.

Zimmer's Vikings defenses flamed out near the end of his tenure, but they were among the best in the NFL for a short period. Remember the days of Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes, Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen? Zimmer got the most out of those studs, but he made a name for himself with the Cowboys.

He joined in 1994 as an assistant under Barry Switzer and served as defensive backs coach for five seasons before he was promoted to DC in 2000.

More importantly, Zimmer has the adaptability to oversee any defense. He's known for his Double A-gap blitz and his history of developing defensive backs --namely Rhodes and safety Harrison Smith -- bodes well for Dallas, which has no shortage of talent in the backend.

The willingness to adjust on the fly would be a sight for sore eyes as Quinn stuck to his strengths no matter what play-caller stood on the enemy sidelines. As of this writing, Zimmer is our top choice to replace Quinn.

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