Dallas Cowboys Defender Doesn’t Hold Back On Reuniting With Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer, Cowboys, NFL
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer waves to the crowd after the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Kendricks represented one of the Dallas Cowboys‘ only free-agent signings this offseason, and the linebacker is excited to reunite with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Kendricks knows Zimmer well from their time with the Minnesota Vikings together. Zimmer served as Vikings head coach from 2014 through 2021, and Kendricks played for him in seven of those seasons.

“Yeah, absolutely, I always appreciated Zim,” Kendricks said, via Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News. “Just the amount of defense I learned when I was underneath him. The way I watch film, the way we break things down, the install, a lot of things I learned from Zim and we had some good years and I can’t wait to continue that.”

Kendricks didn’t exactly leave things off on a great note following Zimmer’s departure from the Vikings in 2021, saying that Zimmer instilled a “fear-based” coaching technique.

But that is all water under the bridge now.

“Emotions were high,” Kendricks said of his prior comments. “We’re very excited. It’s good to be back with him. I love his walkthroughs. I love the little ways he does things, the way he structures things, the level of detail, so I’m excited. I really am.”

Kendricks, who played his collegiate football at UCLA, was selected by Minnesota in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The 32-year-old enjoyed a very successful run with the Vikings, rattling off over 100 tackles in seven straight seasons between 2016 and 2022. He topped out at 143 tackles to go along with five sacks, a couple of interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Kendricks made one Pro Bowl during his time in Minnesota, which came in 2019 after he totaled 110 tackles, a half of a sack, a pair of forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defended. He also earned a First-Team All-Pro selection that season.

After spending eight years with the Vikings, Kendricks joined the Los Angeles Chargers for one season in 2023, finishing with 117 stops, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and six passes defended.

We’ll see what Kendricks can bring to the table for a Cowboys defense that is already among the league’s best.

Dallas went 12-5 and fell to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs this past season.

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