July 12, 2024

FRISCO, Texas — After a deliberate search for a new defensive coordinator officially wrapped up this week, a reflective but forward-thinking Mike Zimmer walked onto the stage in the press conference room at The Star in Frisco on Wednesday excited to be back in Dallas as defensive coordinator where his NFL career began back in 1994 and excited for what the future holds three decades later.

It has been three years since Zimmer was last in the NFL as head coach for the Minnesota Vikings. His time spent away included working as a consultant for Jackson State and Colorado under Deion Sanders – time that he said was spent mostly on the phone with Coach Prime – while also continuing to study the game alongside a good friend in fellow former NFL head coach Marvin Lewis.

But more importantly, his time spent away from football included being with his family more after welcoming in grandkids and losing a son unexpectedly in 2022. It was clear that family meant a lot to the now 67-year-old Zimmer, as being back in Dallas not only allows him to be closer to them, but it also allows him to reunite with people in the business that he considers family at the end of the day.

“I probably needed a little time off just because of some of the things happening with family and that was important to me, to take some time to help the rest of my family in some of those situations too,” Zimmer said. “I knew right away [Dallas] was the right opportunity. There was another club talking to me. This was where I wanted to come.”

The comfortability not only resides within the front office that once resided over his duties from 1994 to 2006, but also with Mike McCarthy who Zimmer has extensive experience with from his days coaching in Minnesota against McCarthy and the NFC North foe Packers across the way.

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