Mike Zimmer Coaching Rumors Could Heat Up Soon

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Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Since being fired by the Minnesota Vikings following the conclusion of the 2021 season, Mike Zimmer has not held a coaching job at the NFL level.

That very well could change in short time. Heading into Thursday morning, there was one head coaching vacancy remaining in the NFL. That spot was with the Washington Commanders, who recently hired former Vikings GM Rick Spielman to assist in that process.

Well, the spot officially has been filled with Washington deciding to hire Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. It also leaves a very intriguing opening at the DC spot in Dallas.

Mike Zimmer Coaching Rumors Could Heat Up Soon

Mike Zimmer
Oct 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on from the sidelines in the second quarter against Cleveland Browns at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the Commanders’ hiring decision on Thursday, tweeting, “The #Commanders are hiring Dan Quinn as their head coach, per sources. Quinn, 53, most recently was the defensive coordinator in Dallas. Now he’ll try to beat the #Cowboys twice a year.”

Zimmer has a total of 28 years of NFL coaching experience, holding various roles with multiple teams, including his eight-year stint as the head coach in Minnesota. However, his longest stint by far came with the Cowboys where he coached for 13 years from 1994-2006.

The former Vikings head coach began as an assistant defensive coach in 1994 before taking on the role of defensive backs coach in 1995, the season in which Dallas won their most recent Super Bowl. Then, he held the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator role from 2000-06.

Aug 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph (98) shakes hands with head coach Mike Zimmer before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Over those Zimmer’s seven seasons as DC of the Cowboys, Dallas made the playoffs twice. The 2003 season was a high-point for Zimmer’s stint in Dallas, coaching a defense that ranked second in points allowed and first in total yards allowed.

Throughout the past three seasons, the Cowboys have finished the regular season with 12-5 records before disappointing playoff exits. Particularly this past season, much of the reason for their loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card was because their defense allowed 41 points while Green Bay got another touchdown off a pick-six from Darnell Savage.

Zimmer has helped Dallas get to the promised land in the past, and now, this could be a golden opportunity to do so again with a number of talented players on the defensive side of the ball such as CB Da’Ron Bland and pass rusher Micah Parsons.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer waves to the crowd after the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Back in December, Zimmer expressed an interest in getting back to the NFL level during an interview with Pelissero.

“I love to teach, I love to coach,” Zimmer said at the time. “It’s just something that’s in your blood…I love being around the players, and I love the challenge of trying to make an organization better.”

Perhaps this is the opportunity for Zimmer to get back to the league where it all began for the talented defensive coach.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.