Skip to main content

Offseason | 2024

Greg Ellis, Guenther among 3 new defensive hires


FRISCO, Texas – In his first week on the job, Mike Zimmer isn't wasting any time getting his staff together.

On Friday, the Cowboys announced three new hires to the defensive side of the ball, including a former first-round draft pick who played for Zimmer.

Greg Ellis is one of three assistants added to the staff, along with Paul Guenther, who is the team's run game coordinator. Also, Jeff Zgonina is the Cowboys' defensive line coach.

Guenther has over 20 years experience in the NFL, including two different stops working with Zimmer in Cincinnati and Minnesota. In 2014, he was promoted from the Bengals linebackers coach to defensive coordinator when Zimmer became head coach of the Vikings. Guenther has also been a DC with the Raiders from 2018-2020.

Zgonina is a veteran coach after a lengthy 17-year career as a player from 1993-2009.

As a coach, he's been either the assistant or head D-line coach for four teams, most recently with Washington since 2020.

Ellis will be the assistant defensive line coach with Zgonina.

A first-round pick of the Cowboys in 1998, Ellis played for the Cowboys for 11 years, the first nine with Zimmer on the staff.

His coaching experience includes two head coaching stops at Texas College and Southwest Assemblies of God University (SAGU) – both on the NAIA level.

Zimmer was officially named defensive coordinator on Wednesday. He's replacing Dan Quinn, who left to become head coach in Washington. Aden Durde, the Cowboys' former defensive line coach is now in Seattle as the defensive coordinator. 

Joe Whitt Jr., the team's secondary/pass game coordinator left with Quinn to the Commanders, as did Shariff Floyd, the assistant D-line coach.

Related Content