FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys completed day three of interviews for their vacant defensive coordinator position on Wednesday, as the team has interviewed Mike Zimmer, Ron Rivera, Aden Durde and Rex Ryan. There are expected to be multiple more names thrown into the mix in a search that the front office is willing to extend into next week.
One of those names is New York Jets safeties coach Marquand Manuel, who is expected to interview on Thursday.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones is scheduled to depart for Las Vegas on Thursday to attend the NFL Honors – where Dak Prescott is up for MVP, CeeDee Lamb is up for Offensive Player of the Year, and DaRon Bland and Micah Parsons are up for Defensive Player of the Year – and he is expected to conduct at least one more interview with Manuel before departing.
The Cowboys have cast a wide net to find their next defensive coordinator following the departure of Dan Quinn, who took the head coaching job with the Washington Commanders.
They completed an interview with current defensive line coach Aden Durde on Monday, who is the favorite out of the in-house candidates and had a strong meeting with the front office. A potential Durde hire would allow the Cowboys to remain mostly consistent from their defenses under Dan Quinn with an added emphasis up front.
Zimmer and Rivera also completed interviews earlier in the week as each brings thorough head coaching experience and a history with Dallas. Zimmer's history with the Cowboys includes 13 years as an assistant including seven as a defensive coordinator in the 2000's. Rivera has been a divisional foe for Dallas as the head coach with the Commanders for the last four seasons before being fired last month.
Rex Ryan was interviewed on Wednesday as he follows up barely missing out on the Broncos defensive coordinator position in 2023 with an interview for the same position with the Cowboys in 2024. Ryan has been out of coaching after being fired as the head coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2016 and has been an analyst for ESPN on Sunday NFL Countdown in the eight years since.