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Cowboys 'Zimmer Connection'? All-Pro Signs with Rival 49ers in Free Agency

Dallas Cowboys 'Zimmer Connection'? Eric Kendricks Signs with Rival San Francisco 49ers in NFL Free Agency
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FRISCO - We understood why so many Cowboys watchers sort of assumed that Dallas might pull off an “obvious” signing of Eric Kendricks, who was recently cut by the Minnesota Vikings.

Hey, he was once an All-Pro under head coach Mike Zimmer. ... and Zimmer is now in Dallas, where a cost-friendly run-stopping linebacker is needed.

It's "obvious,'' right? 

Not to Kendricks, it's not.

Kendricks is on the backside of his career at age 32 and just found work with the Cowboys' rival in San Francisco ... and a misunderstanding of what the player thinks of Zimmer merits clarity.


When Minnesota fired Zimmer in January 2022, Kendricks was asked about his relationship with the boss. His reply included him saying that the team lacked “a culture where communication is put at the forefront. … it’s important to listen up and take each other’s opinions into account.''

Said Kendricks: “I don’t think a fear-based organization is the way to go.”

Does that sound like somebody who would actively seek out a reunion?

That remark doesn’t necessary mean Kendricks and Zimmer would've had a problem reuniting. Kendricks succeeded in Zimmer’s defense and was a team captain. There were positives.

“We put a lot of work in together, and we had a great run,” Kendricks said then of him and Zimmer.

But, he added, “I feel like there’s some things left out there as far as our relationship is concerned. I think that’s a question you have to ask him.”

So ... what it does means is that Zimmer - who wants everyone to know that he's not a "jerk'' (we've known the man for 30 years and it's true; he's not a "jerk'') - is a tough guy. And a demanding guy. And over the course of time, yup, he can rub a player the wrong way.

For certain, Kendricks would've fit Zimmer's defensive system, which is being installed in Dallas right now. And for certain, Zimmer is a driving force here now.

Said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "He's no bull***. He's straight talk ... I think everybody needs some of that."

But Eric Kendricks just decided that what he needs is to sign with the 49ers.