Jason Garrett is out as coach of the Dallas Cowboys after missing the playoffs with an underachieving team in a make-or-break season.
The Cowboys made it official Sunday.
Breaking News from @JayGlazer:
The Cowboys have officially informed Jason Garrett he is out as head coach. pic.twitter.com/DRJiTuNHoB
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 5, 2020
Garrett had the second-longest tenure with the franchise at 9½ seasons behind Tom Landry’s 29 years. Garrett took over when Wade Phillips was fired halfway through the 2010 season.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer Landry led Dallas for the franchise’s first 29 seasons and won two Super Bowls before owner Jerry Jones fired him when he bought the team in 1989. Garrett is Jones’ seventh coach
The Cowboys finished 8-8 in the final year of Garrett’s contract. It’s the fourth time Dallas finished 8-8 and missed the postseason under the 53-year-old coach. The Cowboys fueled high preseason expectations with a 3-0 start before dropping eight of 12 and losing control of their playoff fate.
The team is talking to former head coaches Mike McCarthy and Marvin Lewis.
McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl and went to three other NFC championship games with Green Bay, interviewed Saturday, two people with direct knowledge of the situation said. Lewis spent time with the Cowboys on Friday and Saturday, one of the people said.
They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club wasn't commenting publicly on its coaching situation at the time.
McCarthy won the championship with Green Bay in the 2011 Super Bowl at the home of the Cowboys. The Packers won at least 10 games in eight of his first 11 seasons before going 7-9 in 2017. He was fired with the Packers at 4-7-1 last season.
The 56-year-old McCarthy has already interviewed with Cleveland, Carolina and the New York Giants.
Like McCarthy, Lewis was out of coaching this season after the 61-year-old spent 16 seasons in charge at Cincinnati.
With two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, McCarthy went 125-77-2 in the regular season in 12-plus seasons with the Packers. McCarthy’s teams made the playoffs nine times, going 10-8. Two of those wins were over Dallas.
The Cowboys believe they have their next franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott, who was the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after replacing the injured Tony Romo and never relinquishing the starting job.
Prescott, whose rookie contract is expiring, and two-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott have made the playoffs twice in four seasons and got their first playoff victory in 2018 after losing their postseason debut to Rodgers and McCarthy with Dallas as the NFC’s top seed in 2016.
McCarthy was fired after an embarrassing loss at Lambeau Field to Arizona, a defeat that all but sealed a second straight year without a postseason trip for the Packers when they had made it the previous eight seasons.
The biggest knock on Lewis was his 0-7 playoff record with the Bengals. He had a 131-122-3 record in the regular season and was fired after a third straight losing season in 2018.