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Cowboys news: Mike Zimmer’s name keeps coming up in relation to the Dallas defense

News and analysis from around the Cowboys.

NFC Wild Card Playoff Game - Dallas Cowboys vs Seattle Seahawks - January 6, 2007

A return to the Cowboys could be next for former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer - Jordy McElroy, Vikings Wire

With Dan Quinn making the head coaching interview rounds, the Cowboys may look to a familiar face to fill the role if left vacant.

If Zimmer is looking for work as a defensive coach, he should have no problems finding a spot on a team somewhere, especially if that team is the Dallas Cowboys. ESPN’s Todd Archer recently named him as a possible fit at “Jerry World” if the Cowboys lose Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator.

“Outside the building, could former Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer be an option? He has a long history with the Joneses as a former Cowboys assistant and McCarthy has long respected his work,” Archer wrote.

Zimmer cut his teeth as a defensive coordinator in the NFL with the Cowboys from 2000-2006, but his earliest work with the team stems as far back as 1994 as a defensive assistant.

A coaching vacancy could open up if Quinn lands a head coaching job elsewhere. The Vikings actually interviewed him for Zimmer’s former job on Wednesday.

If Zimmer is still looking to coach, a return to Dallas makes all of the sense in the world considering his familiarity with owner Jerry Jones and the rest of the organization. Say whatever you want to say about his head coaching run in Minnesota, but he’s clearly a talented defensive mind that would add tremendous value to a unit that flashed with eye-popping playmakers like Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs on the field.

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will not need knee surgery to repair torn PCL - Clarence Hill Jr, Star Telegram

Ezekiel Elliott was clearly hampered by the knee injury, but it does not look like a procedure is needed to fix the issue.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had been playing on a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee since October, will not require surgery to correct the issue, the Cowboys Wednesday.

Elliott admitted after Sunday’s season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC wild card game that the injury had limited his effectiveness since October. The Cowboys expect Elliott to make a full recovery and be ready for next season. “The PCL injury was something that we feel will heal with rest,” coach Mike McCarthy. “He’s not up for surgery right now, there’s no discussion about having a procedure.”

Elliott suffered the injury in the Oct. 3 win against the Carolina Panthers, but he continued to play through it, even though his production and effectiveness fell off dramatically. “He had a tremendous start to the season all the way up to Carolina,” McCarthy said. “Carolina is when he was injured. It was clearly the best he’s looked in my time here, physically.”

McCarthy On Opportunities For Quinn & Moore - David Helman, Dallascowboys.com

There is a realistic possibility that the Dallas Cowboys could head into 2022 with two different coordinators at the helm.

Moore and Quinn are two of the most-discussed assistants in this year’s hiring cycle. Quinn, a former head coach, revitalized a woeful Dallas defense and turned the unit into one of the biggest success stories of the 2021 season. Moore, in his third season as Cowboys offensive coordinator, oversaw a group that led the league in scoring.

“I think just the way they operate, positive personalities, I think they both emulate that on a daily basis,” McCarthy said. “Expertise, what they bring to the table. They have the ability to bring people together, so I think they have a lot of common characteristics.”

This hasn’t exactly been a common experience for the Cowboys in recent years. McCarthy has dealt with the loss of coordinators like Joe Philbin and Ben McAdoo during his time in Green Bay, but most of the Cowboys’ major coaching moves in the last decade have been made by them.

The wait will probably last a while longer. Quinn and Moore both reportedly interviewed with the Denver Broncos earlier this week. Quinn has also interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, while Moore interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Both coaches have more scheduled in the coming days.

McCarthy said he’s keeping an open line of communication with both coaches as they go through this process.

Has Michael Gallup Played His Last Game in Dallas? - Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star

It is officially the Dallas Cowboys offseason, and with that comes who will stay and who will go for the next year.

Since joining the Cowboys in 2018 as a third-round pick, Gallup has established himself as the team’s primary deep threat. He’s dazzled fans with his ability to make contested catches and his uncanny knack for spectacular toe-drag grabs on the sidelines. However, not only is he set to hit the open market, he’s set to have surgery at the end of the month to repair a torn ACL he suffered in the Cowboys Week 18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

So, what’s next for Gallup in Dallas?

Before the injury, many believed that Gallup would command too high of a price tag for the Cowboys to retain him. However, the NFL salary cap for the 2022 season is projected to be around 208.2 million which is a significant increase from the 182.5 million in 2021.

With those extra dollars, the Cowboys could bring Gallup back. Also, his injury will give teams who desire to acquire him cause to pause considering next season is just eight months away and his rehab could go past the start of it. So, although Gallup’s knee injury was unfortunate and hobbled the Cowboys’ offense to some degree, it increased the chances of him returning on maybe a one-year prove-it deal before hitting the market again in 2023.

Gallup may be the third option in Dallas behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, but he would be the No. 1 option on a lot of other teams. In a competitive sport like football, every player wants to be on the field as much as possible to show what he can do. However, Gallup expressed last summer that although his future was uncertain he’d love to remain with the Cowboys.

Mailbag: Tougher Schedule In ‘22? Fix Penalties? - Rob Phillips & David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

Penalties must get fixed for 2022.

Who will address and answer for the penalty flag situation? How do we overcome this? The Green Bay Packers are the least penalized team in the league. Are they 58 more penalty calls and 425 penalty yards better than us? — CARL DORSEY / BUFFALO, TX

Rob: Mike McCarthy said that’s the No. 1 issue to address this offseason. When Bill Parcells was coaching here, he used to say he didn’t coach penalties. Can’t say I agree with that. I think it’s part of the fundamentals that are coached. So it’s up to the coaches and players collectively to fix it. When you’re the highest-penalized team in the league over a full season, it’s not all the officials’ fault, although yes, calls like holding are more subjective and there’s not always consistency from crew to crew. Bottom line: it’s so hard to win games that way, particularly in the playoffs when the margin for error is razor thin.

David: I would imagine that it’s a position coach’s job to teach proper technique and make sure guys are avoid trouble spots that will get them flagged. But when the issue is as consistent and systemic as it was in 2021, I think it falls on the head coach. Mike McCarthy talked a lot about penalties being a point of emphasis for this team, but it never changed. They were even heavily flagged in some of their big wins, like the New England game. It never got better. Fair or not, I think the blame lies with the guy in charge. It has to improve in 2022.

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