Mike Zimmer Lands Interview for High-Profile Job

Mike Zimmer might
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The NFL coaching cycle in 2024 had some real surprises. Many expected Bill Belichick and the Patriots to part ways but nobody foresaw him to be overlooked and unable to find a new job. He is forced to take a year off from coaching. Also expected was Ron Rivera’s departure as Washington’s head coach following the third straight year without a playoff appearance. He failed to record a winning season in four attempts.

Mike Zimmer Lands Interview for High-Profile Job

Mike Zimmer Lands Interview for High-Profile Job
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To replace him, the Commanders hired former Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. He also led the Atlanta Falcons for over five seasons, including one Super Bowl appearance in Matt Ryan’s MVP season with Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator.

The vacated defensive coordinator position in Dallas could be filled by a former Viking. Mike Zimmer will interview for the spot, according to Adam Schefter on X: “Former Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer, who last worked in the NFL in 2021, is meeting with the Cowboys about their defensive coordinator job, per league sources.”

Just a few days ago, rumors surfaced about Zimmer’s interest in this particular job.

HC Wants Back
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Zimmer was Minnesota’s skipper between 2014 and the end of the 2021 season. Following a pair of missed postseasons and some internal dysfunction, Minnesota decided to let him go to hire offensive-minded Kevin O’Connell.

Zimmer took two years off from NFL football but might return in the upcoming season. Coaching is his passion as he made clear in an interview with Tom Pelissero from NFL Network in December: “The biggest thing, Tom, is I love to teach. I love to coach. When I was a head coach, I was always trying to teach and get the players better. Also wanted to teach them about the game of football, not just about their position.”

Rule out Former
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He coached the Vikes for eight seasons and overall, his tenure was quite successful. Although failing to reach the ultimate goal, he formed a strong defensive unit that peaked in 2017, carrying a team to the NFC Championship game without its starting quarterback Sam Bradford and top weapon Dalvin Cook.

Throughout his tenure, Minnesota had the 10th-best record in the NFL. He also won two NFC North titles despite facing the prime version of Aaron Rodgers. His Vikings defense ranked fourth in EPA/Play in those eight seasons.

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The Cowboys are one of his former teams. Zimmer worked in Dallas as a defensive assistant in 1994, defensive backs coach (1995-1999) and defensive coordinator (2000-2006). His tenure as DB coach collided with Deion Sanders’ time with the Cowboys and the two became good friends while winning a Super Bowl in 1996. The Hall of Famer has always been one of his biggest fans.

Dallas has been featuring one of the strongest defenses in the league after overhauling the group in 2021. Micah Parsons is one of the best players in the league and they employ some excellent cornerbacks, something that is important for Zimmer’s defense to work.

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The Cowboys’ defense has been a top-four unit in the league in three straight years according to EPA/play and they surely want to continue having a strong defense. Zimmer was one of the elite defensive minds in football for a long time. His defense faded because of a lack of talent rather than a bad scheme in his final two years in the NFC North. It would be fun to see him coordinate one of the most talented defenses in the NFL.

Zimmer will turn 68 in June.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt