FRISCO - I've known both Michael Irvin and Mike Zimmer for over 30 years. And "calm'' is not the word I'd use to describe the personal style, or the "football style,'' of either of them.
But as the Dallas Cowboys finalize the plan to bring back Zimmer to their coaching staff as the defensive coordinator, Irvin is fired up ... about Zim's coming "calm'' approach.
"Calm,'' Michael? Zim? The coach who Darren Woodson says it about to "shock the system'' at The Star? How so?
"Mike Zimmer will bring a more calm approach," Irvin said to TMZ, "and he'll make every team walk the ball down the field."
By "calm,'' Irvin means that the Dallas defense - which he characterizes as a risk-taking bunch under previous defensive coordinator Dan Quinn - will not need to do so going forward.
None of this is "ripping'' Quinn; what he did here on the way to earning the head coaching job in Washington was fantastic. But in the opinion of the Cowboys legend and Hall of Famer Irvin, Zimmer's style might be even more "complementary'' because given Dallas' offensive prowess - head coach Mike McCarthy's team finished No. 1 in scoring in the NFL last year - defensive risks aren't necessary.
"If you've got an explosive offense," Irvin said, "and the other team has to walk the ball down the field, it gives you a better chance at winning."
Again, to translate: Irvin - who also said he's not "healed'' from the Cowboys' most recent playoff failure - is suggesting that Zimmer, who was on the 1995 Super Bowl staff in Dallas, will utilize a defense that forces teams to forge long drives down the field ... that's the "walk.''
Does that make Zimmer "better'' than Quinn? It's not about that; it's about what best helps the 2024 Cowboys be more successful than the 2023 Cowboys. And Michael Irvin believes they've pinpointed a way.