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Cowboys LB Eric Kendricks changes tune, happy to reunite with Mike Zimmer

Linebacker Eric Kendricks' tune has changed when it comes to playing for Mike Zimmer.

After seven seasons under Zimmer in Minnesota, Kendricks called out the former Vikings head coach for a "fear-based" style in January 2022. Reuniting with Zimmer in Dallas in 2024, Kendricks told reporters over the weekend that context was key to those previous comments -- noting his emotion coming off a disappointing season -- and he's thrilled to be back with the new Cowboys defensive coordinator.

"Emotions were high," he said of his 2022 comments, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. "We're very excited. It's good to be back with him. I love his walkthroughs. I love the little ways he does things, the way he structures things, the level of detail, so I'm excited. I really am."

Kendricks said that despite those comments, he enjoyed playing for Zimmer, adding that he wouldn't have signed up to reunite with him if he didn't respect the coordinator. The 32-year-old rejected a contract offer with the 49ers to join Zimmer in Dallas.

"Yeah, absolutely, I always appreciated Zim," Kendricks said. "Just the amount of defense I learned when I was underneath him. The way I watch film, the way we break things down, the install, a lot of things I learned from Zim and we had some good years and I can't wait to continue that."

It's no secret that Zimmer can be a demanding coach. He was also decently successful during an eight-year run in Minnesota, compiling a 72-56-1 record with two division titles and three postseason berths. The style might have worn players down by the end, but as the defensive coordinator of the Cowboys, it could bring out the best.

"Life's hard," Kendricks said. "Absolutely. I respect him fully. We're going to get this thing going. I had a talk with him this past weekend. We're excited to have this opportunity to work together again and play off each other."

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