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Goodbye to Mike Zimmer

JJT looks at the departure of Mike Zimmer, and has some interesting tidbits tucked away in his article. He starts with the standard theme, the idea that everybody agrees upon, Zimmer never got comfortable in the 3-4 defense. I don't think his dedication to learning it, or his dedication to the making it work in Dallas was ever questioned; he just couldn't get it done.

Yeah, Zimmer knew the 3-4 defense, its principles and philosophies, but he never fully grasped the intricacies and nuances of the scheme so that he could transform the Cowboys' defense into an elite unit. Never was that more evident than the final month of the season, when the defense collapsed and Zimmer couldn't fix it.

"It was the worst I've ever been through," Zimmer said Wednesday. "I couldn't figure it out. I was suicidal ... that's not a joke."

We never hear from the Cowboys assistants, but now that he's gone, Zimmer is free to speak. And gauging from the above quote, he was despondent that he couldn't make it work in Dallas. He never gave up the fight:
"On Christmas night after we lost, I went to work and stayed all night," he said. "After that, I started coming in earlier and earlier. That's the only thing I knew to do. I had to keep grinding and grinding."

That's all history for the Cowboys now, they need a future though. In the article JJT opines that Parcells is probably coming back because of his actions at Valley Ranch this week, including presiding over meetings with the rest of the staff.

Unfortunately, from my point of view, it's starting to look like the Cowboys will promote from within to fill the defensive coordinator position.

For now, Parcells is leaning toward naming Todd Bowles and Paul Pasqualoni co-coordinators. In that scenario, Bowles would handle the pass defense and Pasqualoni the run defense. The key, though, is who handles the play-calling on gameday.

But there was this piece of news I hadn't seen elsewhere, Parcells actually talked to Dom Capers.

Parcells recently spoke to Dom Capers to gauge his interest in running the defense, but was rebuffed. Still, it's an indication Parcells wants an established coordinator. But as hard as it might be to fathom, not every coach yearns to work for Parcells.

Keep on talking to Capers, make him find an interest in coaching in Dallas. If not him, find another veteran 3-4 candidate and bring him in. I still think the Cowboys need a fresh perspective on their defense from someone who has seen it all in a 3-4 defense.

At the end of the article, JJT leaves with the coldest of parting shots about Zimmer's departure.

Sometimes, you don't miss a guy until he's gone. Remember Sean Payton?

Ouch, that hurt.

For completeness sake, here's a little nugget on some signings the Cowboys did recently.

The Cowboys signed eight players, including wide receiver/punt returner Jamaica Rector, to their reserve/future list for the 2007 season on Wednesday.

The Cowboys also signed quarterback Matt Baker, wide receivers Damarious Bilbo and Jerheme Urban, tight ends Tony Curtis and Andy Thorn, kicker Carlos Martinez, and cornerback Joey Thomas.

Joey Thomas is new, Damarius Bilbo is being converted to a safety, and Keylon Kincade was the only guy not re-signed from the practice squad.

Will Romo's name become synonymous with a blunder? This article takes a look at major sports gaffes in the past, and what happened to the athletes who made them. A few years from now, when some poor holder drops the key snap in a huge game, will the announcers or the fans say he "pulled a Romo?"

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