Cowboys DC Mike Zimmer: Now we have to do it 'the best way I would like it executed'

by Christina S. Brown
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Mike Zimmer is in Act 2 because the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys and is again within the NFL for the primary time since 2021; he spent the earlier two seasons as an assistant at Jackson State and Colorado after serving as the pinnacle coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2014-21.

Throughout Zimmer’s time in Minnesota, the Vikings had top-of-the-line defenses within the NFL. Actually, from 2015-19, their protection completed within the prime 10 in factors surrendered, together with being first in each opponent whole yards and opponent factors in 2017.

Can the Cowboys be the identical drive beneath Zimmer? The reply appears to be sure, so long as they embrace his approach of doing issues.

“It is like I informed the protection the primary day I received right here. I stated, it is a completely different deal for me. Often, once I are available in, the protection is just not good. ? They’re fairly darn good,” Zimmer informed ESPN in an interview that was printed on Wednesday morning. “So, it is somewhat completely different for me as a result of we have now to advance among the issues they had been doing good and attempt to enhance on the issues they weren’t doing pretty much as good. However for essentially the most half, they’ve performed fairly darn good, and we’ll attempt to intensify that and perhaps be somewhat bit extra technique-oriented, perhaps somewhat bit extra disciplined. A few of these issues.

“On the finish of the day, we have to do it the best way I would like it executed. I do know should you attempt to are available in and do any individual else’s factor, it simply does not go properly.”

Final season, Dallas surrendered simply 187.4 passing yards (fifth within the NFL), 112.4 dashing yards (sixteenth), 299.7 whole yards (fifth) and 18.5 factors (fifth) per sport beneath defensive coordinator Dan Quinn — who left to grow to be the brand new head coach of the Washington Commanders after the season.

Its protection is headlined by linebacker Micah Parsons, defensive finish DeMarcus Lawrence and defensive backs DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs. 

Parsons has totaled 13-plus sacks and been a Professional Bowler in every of his three seasons within the NFL; Lawrence is a four-time Professional Bowler; after reeling in 5 interceptions in his 2022 rookie season, Bland had an NFL-high 9 interceptions, together with 5 pick-sixes final season; Diggs’ 2023 marketing campaign ended after two video games resulting from a torn ACL, however the cornerback led the NFL with 11 interceptions in 2021.

That stated, the Cowboys misplaced at house to the Inexperienced Bay Packers within the NFC wild-card spherical, 48-32, surrendering 415 whole yards within the loss. Additionally they misplaced a handful of high quality rotation gamers and/or starters this offseason, together with defensive linemen Neville Gallimore, Dorance Armstrong, Johnathan Hankins and Dante Fowler Jr. In the meantime, defensive backs Jayron Kearse and Stephon Gilmore stay free brokers, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch retired.

Will the Cowboys win over 11 video games?

Will the Cowboys win over 11 games?

As for what it has introduced into the constructing, Dallas signed veteran linebackers Eric Kendricks and Damien Wilson, whereas choosing Western Michigan defensive lineman Marshawn Kneeland (No. 56) and Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau (No. 87), amongst others, within the 2024 NFL Draft.

Zimmer was a part of the Cowboys teaching employees from 1994-2006, serving as defensive coordinator within the final seven seasons, 4 of which got here beneath Corridor of Fame head coach Invoice Parcells. He was then the defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, adopted by a six-year stint in the identical place with the Cincinnati Bengals (2008-13) earlier than taking the throne in Minnesota in 2014.

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