The Cowboys have come to terms with Mike Zimmer to be their new defensive coordinator, apparently ending a multi-day saga that had some wondering if the team was going to go a different direction after an eleventh-hour change of heart.
Zimmer confirmed the news Monday afternoon to longtime Cowboys reporter Ed Werder. Former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus also confirmed the development, saying on 105.3 The Fan that he had received a text from Zimmer. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero’s post to X (formerly Twitter) made it three rock-solid sources.
It shouldn’t have taken all that, but it is the never-ending circus otherwise known as the Dallas Cowboys, after all.
Word of Zimmer’s hire had originally been leaked on Thursday night, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitting from the red carpet at NFL Honors that the team had decided on their man, though he didn’t name names at the time.
The team even posted news of Zimmer’s “expected” hiring to their official website that same evening, but with the eyes of the league on Las Vegas and Super Bowl LVIII, nothing else happened until Sunday.
That’s when ESPN analyst Rex Ryan, who had interviewed with Dallas for the same job earlier in the week, reminded a national audience that no official announcement had yet been made. He even seemed to make a last-minute sales pitch to the Cowboys for his own services, stating, “I figured I could make maybe even a little of an upgrade.”
By Monday morning, the lack of an actual deal- and the possibility of a dramatic flip-flop- had become the story. NFL insider Adam Schefter explained on The Pat McAfee Show that the Cowboys had reached back out to Ryan as late as Sunday to gauge his interest and even talk numbers.
“Rex could, conceivably, still be in play,” Schefter said.
So, yes, the #Cowboys and Mike Zimmer have officially agreed to terms after several days of negotiations.
He is flying in to Dallas this week and there will possibly be a press conference following his arrival — which is TBD.
Zimmer is back.
— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) February 12, 2024
Whether there was legitimate back-and-forth over contract details, a last bit of leveraging going on from one side or the other, or just a delay in doing the paperwork, the Cowboys and Zimmer now seem to have come to an actual agreement.
“I’m excited and honored to be back with a great organization,” Zimmer told Werder. “I’m thrilled to work with Mike McCarthy, for whom I have had a ton of respect in our NFC North days, and to do anything I can do to help the Joneses and the Cowboys.”