Anytime you bring in a new coach or coordinator in the NFL, you can expect major change in terms of player personnel as well. The Dallas Cowboys finally lost defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to a head coaching job, and unfortunately to their division rivals out in Washington. They've now replaced Quinn by hiring former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer as their new defensive coordinator.
And this is a role Zimmer has actually held in the past. He was on the Cowboys' coaching staff from 1994-2006 and was the defensive coordinator from 2000-06. He has plenty of familiarity with Mike McCarthy as well, as the two faced off twice a year from 2014-18 when McCarthy was the coach of the Green Bay Packers and Zimmer was head coach of the Vikings.
With Zimmer now in the mix, what Cowboys defensive players are treading thin ice? Let's take a look at some players who have likely been put on notice after this move.
1. DaRon Bland, CB
DaRon Bland was an All-Pro selection this past season after he picked off an outrageous nine passes with five of them going for touchdowns, an NFL record. Bland knows how to get his hands on the ball but does his play style jive with the way Mike Zimmer calls a defense?
Bland's aggressiveness in attacking the ball in the air worked well for Dan Quinn's defense. Quinn seeks out defensive backs with length and ball skills, and his defense can have success even if corners are getting burned at times. Bland not only picked off nine passes and returned five of them for touchdowns, but he was also victimized quite a bit in coverage throughout the course of the year.
Despite the fact that he picked off nine balls, Bland was targeted by opposing quarterbacks a whopping 84 times and he gave up 660 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
With Dan Quinn identifying specific types of corners for his defense, will Bland turn out to be a fit schematically with Mike Zimmer? You would hope so with the amount of man coverage these guys are going to be asked to play, but if the results aren't there, Bland could find himself out of favor quickly.