Cowboys Could Hire Super Bowl Champion to Replace Dan Quinn: Report

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys and Mike McCarthy may land Mike Zimmer as their new defensive coordinator.

The Dallas Cowboys look towards a familiar name to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator.

The Cowboys are due to interview former Minnesota Vikings head coach and a former assistant coach of theirs in Mike Zimmer, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

“The Cowboys are interviewing former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer today for their defensive coordinator job, per source,” writes Pelissero on Tuesday, February 6.

Mike Zimmer Previously Coached Cowboys’ Defense for 7 Seasons

The 67-year-old is best known for his recent long head coaching tenure with the Vikings, spending eight seasons as the lead man on the sidelines between 2014 and 2021. During his eight seasons in Minnesota, Zimmer led the Vikings to the playoffs three times, including an NFC Championship Game appearance during the 2017 season.

The Vikings never finished with less than seven wins in a single season during Zimmer’s tenure in Minnesota and he compiled a 72-56-1 record (.562) during his time with the Vikings. Minnesota compiled the 10th-best record in the league between 2014 and 2021.

Outside of his recent stint with the Vikings, Zimmer also spent the 2022 season as an analyst/consultant for Deion Sanders’ former college football team, Jackson State. The connection is notable because Sanders won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys at the conclusion of the 1995 season while Zimmer was the defensive backs coach.

Zimmer’s tenure with the Cowboys as an assistant was also a long one — he coached for 13 years from 1994 until 2006, serving as the defensive coordinator for his final seven seasons.

The Cowboys are seeking to replace Quinn — who had served as defensive coordinator since the 2021 season and recently accepted the Washington Commanders‘ head coaching job. Dallas ranked in the top seven in points allowed in each of the past three seasons, including leading the league in turnovers forced during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Dallas is also due to interview former Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, as noted by Michael David Smith of NBC Sports.

“Dan Quinn replaced Ron Rivera as head coach of the Commanders,” wrote David Smith on Monday, Feb. 5. “Rivera may replace Quinn as defensive coordinator of the Cowboys. Rivera is one of three candidates who will interview for Cowboys defensive coordinator in the next two days.”

Jerry Jones Not Concerned About Cowboys’ New Defensive Coordinator

Team owner Jerry Jones isn’t concerned as the Cowboys seek a new defensive coordinator.

While addressing Quinn’s departure to their NFC East rivals, Jones dismissed the idea of hiring a new defensive coordinator as being an “issue.”

“I don’t anticipate that being an issue at all,” Jones said on Sunday, via the team website. “If they take the job, they will be coordinator of the Cowboys. They would be looking at that right there and all that goes with that. If they’re aspiring, they know there’s a chance to be a head coach someplace, because the one that just left is.”

While the idea of a hiring a new defensive coordinator this late in the hiring cycle can be considered a daunting one, it’s worth noting that Dallas has one of the most star-studded defensive lineups in the league. The Cowboys feature Pro Bowlers such as Micah Parsons, DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs.

It also helps that Dallas is targeting proven coaches as defensive coordinators such as Zimmer and Rivera.


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