Cowboys players seem to enjoy spending time around Aden Durde. The ‘Boys new defensive line coach has a charismatically inviting personality, and has briskly established himself as a player favorite for his unique British accent, auroral smile, and natural knack for inciting laughs amongst his platoon.
Durde joined Dallas along with Dan Quinn after spending three years (one as an outside linebackers coach, and two as Quinn’s defensive assistant) with him in Atlanta.
And after catching glimpses of his tenacity and work ethic during episode two of this season’s Hard Knocks showing, it’s not difficult to see why Quinn wanted Durde to tag along for the ride as he embarked on his latest venture into D-Town.
Durde’s a football lifer.
A native of Middlesex, England, Durde’s playing career began with the London Olympians in the early 2000s. He then had two brief stints overseas — one with the Scottish Claymores, and another with the NFL Europe’s Hamburg Sea Devils (he was a temporary member of the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad in 2005) before joining the professional coaching ranks.
For six years, Durde excelled as defensive coordinator for the London Warriors, while splitting time between that role, and spearheading the International Player Pathway program as head of football development at NFLUK.
Durde’s big break came in 2018, when Dan Quinn took heed of his talent and brought him on board to help his Falcons’ defense take flight.
Nine days after Quinn signed with Dallas to head the team’s sputtering defense, Durde joined forces with his former boss on Jan. 20, 2021. From there, he quickly established himself as a fixture to be recognized.
Durde clearly has a “take no prisoners” type of mentality. His words are distinct due to his intonation, but he doesn’t mince them, and each is used effectively and with force. He’s a tough love kind of mentor, but that doesn’t minimize the visible love that’s present from him to his mentees. He wants success, his knowledge about the game is impressive, and it’s clear that Durde will accept nothing less than that from his big guys in the trenches.
Now, the achievements of his group will ultimately determine how long his reign in Dallas will last, but one thing’s already clear: Durde commands the attention of his players, and they love him nearly just as much as they love impersonating his accent.
He’s no Ted Lasso, but he may soon have the eyes of a national audience firmly fixed on his rousing script.