The Dallas Cowboys are set to reunite with Mike Zimmer to fill in their defensive coordinator vacancy, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The 67-year-old will replace Dan Quinn, who recently left to become the Washington Commanders’ head coach.

Zimmer hasn’t had an NFL job since serving as the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach from 2014-21. He posted a 72-56-1 regular-season record in Minnesota, helping the team reach the playoffs three times.


This will be Zimmer’s second stint with Dallas. The longtime coach spent time with the Cowboys as an assistant (1994), defensive backs coach (1995-99), and defensive coordinator (2000-06). He was part of their Super Bowl-winning team in 1995.

Zimmer also worked as defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons (2007) and Cincinnati Bengals (2008-13) before taking the Minnesota job. He was named 2009 Assistant Coach of the Year.

Most recently, he was an analyst at Jackson State in 2022, working with one of his former players, Deion Sanders.

The Cowboys also interviewed multiple veteran coaches for the defensive coordinator job, including Ron Rivera and Rex Ryan.

Dallas’ defense ranked in the top 10 in points allowed in all three seasons under Quinn, who joined the team in 2021. The Cowboys placed fifth in both points and total yards allowed in 2023.

Zimmer established himself as one of the NFL’s best defensive-minded coaches throughout his career, and he helped the Vikings boast football’s top-ranked defense in 2017. However, Minnesota struggled defensively in Zimmer’s final years in charge. The unit allowed the third-most points in the league in 2021.