As we all know, Dan Quinn will be coaching in Washington, D.C. next season. This means the Dallas Cowboys have a defensive coordinator hole that needs filling.
With Quinn's delayed job-hunt, the Cowboys' potential replacement options were believed to be limited until an old-friend came into the picture. Ex-Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer reportedly showed interested in a reunion to Dallas this past week. Talks have heated up and at the best time.
Zimmer, 67, was on staff in Dallas from 1994-2006, with the last six of those years being the team's defensive coordinator. He was able to sneak in towards the end of the Cowboys' dynasty run of the 1990s so he has a hint of experience in what it is like to be apart of winning Dallas teams.
Zimmer was also around during the dynasty's downfall. At the time of Dallas' head coaching carousel in the late 1990s-mid 2000's -- that included a rotation of Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips -- Zimmer was still around holding a strong defense year-after-year.
In Zimmer's time in Dallas he put together talent including Deion Sanders, Darren Woodson, Leon Lett, Dexter Coakley, Roy Williams, Terrance Newman, LaRoi Glover, Greg Ellis and many more. The success Zimmer had with the Cowboys and that he left on good terms works in favor and makes the hire feel like a legit possibility.
Zimmer isn't the Cowboys' only option, but given what's available he could be a home-run hire. Let's lay out why that could be the case.
Mike Zimmer's second tenure with the Cowboys can actually work
Zimmer has put together a successful coaching resume in his time in the NFL. After two other solid defensive coordinator stints in Atlanta (2007) and Cincinnati (2008-13) following his time in Dallas, Zimmer got his first head coaching gig in Minnesota.
While leading the Vikings, Zimmer put together a 72-56-1 record over eight seasons. He coached his team to three playoff appearances, including being a game away from the Super Bowl, losing to the Eagles in the 2017 NFC Championship Game.
Zimmer spent his most recent year as a defensive-consultant for a once Sanders-led Jackson State team. The reason for the hire is said to be due to the relationship between the two during Sanders' time in Dallas in the mid 1990s.
While with the Vikings, though, guys like Everson Griffin, Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr and more have Zimmer to credit for molding them into great defensive players. The defenses in Minnesota were stout for much of the last decade thanks to Zimmer.