Cowboys hire former Commanders defensive line coach

The Washington Commanders took from the Dallas Cowboys this offseason by hiring defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their next head coach. Quinn brought secondary coach and pass game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. with him to Washington as his new defensive coordinator.

That meant the Cowboys had some holes to fill. They interviewed former Commanders head coach Ron Rivera to replace Quinn, but that job went to former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer served as the Dallas defensive coordinator from 2000-06.

Following Quinn and Whitt out of Dallas was defensive line coach Aden Durde. Durde, who followed Quinn to Dallas from Atlanta, was the Cowboys defensive line coach over the past three seasons.

As Washington officially announced its new coaching staff on Thursday, most of its former staff members were free to seek employment elsewhere. The Commanders retained four coaches from Rivera’s former staff. One member of Rivera’s former defensive staff will join Zimmer in Dallas.

Jeff Zgonina, who joined the Commanders in 2020 as the assistant defensive line coach, was promoted to defensive line coach in Aug. 2022 when Rivera fired Sam Mills III. He will join Zimmer as his new defensive line coach.

When Zgonina was promoted in Washington, Rivera hired franchise legend Ryan Kerrigan as the assistant defensive line coach. Quinn retained Kerrigan.

Zgonina played 17 years in the NFL, retiring after the 2009 season. He began his coaching career with the Texans in 2013. In addition to his time with Houston and Washington, Zgonina has coached with the Giants and 49ers.

Zgonina earned rave reviews from some of Washington’s defensive linemen, including Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire