Mike Zimmer is a smart man that has been around professional football for a long time. In his first head coaching position in the NFL – taking over the Vikings job in 2014 – Zimmer comes from the Dallas Cowboys, Falcons, and Bengals, coaching with the Cowboys from 1994-2006 first as a defensive backs coach and later as the defensive coordinator.
His current Vikings have resembled Zimmer’s style of old-school defensive football accompanied by a balanced, ball-control offense.
As for Minnesota’s next opponent, Zimmer also sees plenty of similarities to glory days of the past from the Cowboys.
When asked about comparing his former Cowboys teams to this 2016 squad, Zimmer said:
“Yeah, it does remind me a lot of what we had in Dallas at the time” – Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Zimmer went into further detail about what’s made the 2016 Cowboys so special, comparing Ezekiel Elliott to Emmitt Smith, and praising Tyron Smith as the best player on the best offensive line in football.
Looking back at his own team, the Vikings offensive line has struggled as of late to protect their new QB in Sam Bradford, as the once 5-0 Vikings have lost 5 of their last 6.
Zimmer can reminisce about the great Cowboys’ offenses that he witnessed in Dallas all he wants, but the real key to Thursday’s game could be this scrappy Cowboys defense (far from the star-studded groups that he coached decades ago) and how they can slow down Minessota’s offense.
Thursday Night Football isn’t just going to be watchable this week, it’s going to be impossible to turn away.