Cowboys reportedly hire Mike Zimmer as defensive coordinator

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The Dallas Cowboys are hiring former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer as their next defensive coordinator, NFL Media reported.

It’s a return to Dallas for Zimmer, who previously coached there from 1994-2006 and served as Cowboys defensive coordinator for the final seven of those seasons. Before that, he was the Cowboys’ defensive backs coach, and his time in that role almost perfectly overlapped with Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders’ time in Dallas, including in the 1995 Cowboys Super Bowl championship season.

Zimmer was most recently the Vikings head coach from 2014-2021, going 72-56 in his eight seasons there and reaching the NFC Championship Game after the 2017 season. He’s been out of pro football since then, though he spent 2022 as a consultant to Sanders’ coaching staff at Jackson State.

Zimmer has also been a defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals. He replaces Dan Quinn, who left to become head coach of the Washington Commanders last week, on head coach Mike McCarthy’s staff. McCarthy is entering the final year of his contract and endured harsh criticism for the Cowboys’ 48-32 playoff upset loss to the Green Bay Packers despite a strong 12-5 season for Dallas.

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