Zimmer is Dallas' defensive coordinator

Updated: January 5, 2004, 9:26 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer interviewed for Nebraska's coaching job Monday in Lincoln.

Zimmer, who helped build a Cowboys defense that ranked No. 1 in the National Football League for 2003, joined the Dallas staff nine years ago. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2000 and was one of just a handful of carry-overs from the previous staff to serve under coach Bill Parcells.

Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson has indicated that interim coach Bo Pelini and quarterbacks coach Turner Gill, a Fort Worth native, also will be interviewed in the search for a replacement for Frank Solich. The Cornhuskers fired Solich in November after a 9-3 regular season.

Nebraska finished 10-3, beating Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl under Pelini.

Before joining the Cowboys, Zimmer also coached at Illinois State, Missouri, Weber State and Missouri. His father, Bill, coached at Bradley.

Zimmer and Cowboys officials did not return telephone calls early Monday from The Associated Press.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt rejected Nebraska's $2 million coaching offer, saying strong family ties and a job left undone kept him with the Razorbacks. Nebraska also expressed interest in Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders, but he also said he didn't want the job.

Cowboys offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon and Sean Payton, assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach, were also likely to be considered for head coaching jobs in the off-season, according to the report. Both have been linked to the Raiders' opening and could be interviewed in the next week.

The Cowboys' season ended in a 29-10 loss to Carolina on Saturday night.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.