The Cowboys are officially looking for their next head coach.
Dallas informed Jason Garrett that he is not returning to the Cowboys after a nine-year tenure, the team announced Sunday.
"We are extremely grateful to Jason Garrett for his more than 20 years of service to the Dallas Cowboys as a player, assistant coach and head coach," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. “His level of commitment, character and dedication to this organization has been outstanding at every stage of his career.
"He is, and always will remain, a cherished member of the Dallas Cowboys family, and his contributions to the organization are greatly appreciated."
The move follows days of speculation related to Garrett's job status. Earlier this week, ESPN's Ed Werder reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones had moved slowly and with “abundance of care and respect” for Garrett, but that this "phase" of the process is expected to conclude shortly.
Garrett's contract with the team was set to expire on Jan. 14.
On Thursday, Garrett was initially expected to meet with Cowboys brass for the third time this week but didn't in the end. However, Garrett met with the Joneses on Tuesday and Monday, but no resolution was reportedly reached at that time.
By the end of the week, however, the team had also reportedly started interviewing other head coaching candidates, including former Packers coach Mike McCarthy and former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
The move comes after a rocky 2019 season where the Cowboys finished 8–8 in the regular season and failed to make the playoffs.
Throughout the season, Jones did not shy away from discussing Garrett's tenure in Dallas, whose five-year contract was up following the 2019 season. When asked in early December about the coach's future in 2020, Jones gave a cryptic answer.
“In my opinion, Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan.
Jones also stated that the goal for the Cowboys was to finish first in the NFC East, a position Dallas held until the Eagles' Week 16 victory over the Cowboys launched them into the top spot. Despite the Cowboys' 47–16 win over the Redskins in Week 17, Philadelphia won the division by beating the Giants.
Garrett had been part of the Cowboys' front office since 2007 when he joined as offensive coordinator. He was promoted to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator the next season, and acted as interim head coach in 2010 before being named head coach in 2011.
Prior to coaching, Garrett signed as a free agent with Dallas in 1992 and remained with the team for eight seasons, highlighted by two Super Bowl victories in the 1993 and 1995 seasons.
Garrett finished with an 85–67 record as head coach of the Cowboys, but won only two playoff games. He was named NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Cowboys to a 13–3 record in 2016.
Dallas has not reached the Super Bowl since the 1995 season.