It would be very surprising if the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have a new head coach in 2020. The writing has been on the wall for some time when it comes to the Cowboys and their leader, and the inevitable search is going to be one of the more fascinating ones across the National Football League. Being the head coach in Dallas is certainly a great thing, but it obviously brings with it some things that not every person might want to deal with.
Who could be the Cowboys head coach next season? Many have wanted Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley for some time, but some have soured on him after their loss to LSU on Saturday night. A former college coach in Urban Meyer is certainly a potential option, but you simply never know with him. Dallas reportedly had interest in Sean Payton a year ago, but he’s locked up for the foreseeable future with the New Orleans Saints. Who then?
Part of what Jerry Jones seemingly loves about Jason Garrett is that Garrett has been around the Cowboys forever. He’s an in-house product, so to speak. Sean Payton falls into that category as well as - like you are very painfully aware - he was on Bill Parcells’ staff before his opportunity materialized in the Big Easy.
You know someone else who was on the staff in those days that people have floated out as a new potential coach of the Cowboys? Mike Zimmer. Yes, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. The thing about Zim is that he’s under contract with the Vikings through next season, but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport it’s not impossible that the Cowboys could trade for him.
The Cowboys are expected to move on from coach Jason Garrett with a loss to the Redskins Sunday or missing the playoffs, which would happen even with a win if the Eagles win as well. Garrett won’t need to be specifically fired because his contract is up, and it expires on either Jan. 14 or three days after the season. Sounds like Garrett could use a fresh start as well. Among the coaches they’ll likely target are Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, Rhule, former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, potentially Rivera and others. Put nothing past Jerry Jones - even a trade if someone he likes (such as Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer) becomes available.
Mike Zimmer’s current contract with the Vikings runs through the 2020 season. It would be interesting to say the least if the Cowboys traded for another coach on a contract year considering that’s what they’ve just experienced with Jason Garrett. One would think that a trade would also include an extension.
This season was Zimmer’s sixth as the Vikings head coach and it will mark their third playoff appearance (they are the sixth seed Wildcard). Minnesota very famously made it to the NFC Championship Game in 2017 after their miracle win over the aforementioned Sean Payton and ultimately lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Zimmer has operated with different issues in Minnesota including shaky quarterback play and some locker room drama earlier this season. For what it’s worth he’s generally always had to deal with getting past Aaron Rodgers so he has that in common with most of the current Cowboys.
As far as potential compensation should the Cowboys indeed try to trade for Zimmer, it’s hard to know exactly what it would take. Jon Gruden being traded from the Oakland Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the most well-known trade of a coach, but there are instances with various price tags associated to them.
And for what it’s worth, if the Cowboys are interested in trading for a coach, why not go all the way and trade for Sean Payton? It seems like he is truly the one that got away while Zimmer is simply a one that got away. Obviously Payton would cost more, but at this point, especially if trades are being considered, it’s hard to see a price that wouldn’t be too high.
What’s the highest draft pick that you would give up to acquire Mike Zimmer?
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