The Jason Garrett Era in Dallas Has Come to an End

After nine-plus seasons, and an extremely extended divorce period, the Cowboys have officially announced that they are moving on from Garrett as head coach. Where does Jerry Jones go from here?
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Jason Garrett

The Cowboys have informed Jason Garrett that they will be moving on from him at head coach, not extending his contract which is set to expire in a few days. Garrett had a 85-67 record during his nine-plus seasons in Dallas, with a 2-3 postseason record.

Since the end of the Cowboys’ season on Dec. 30, rumors have been flying about whether or not Garrett will be back as the head coach. The team finally made it official during the Eagles-Seahawks wild-card game—the game in which the Cowboys would have been playing if they had won the NFC East.

Coming into 2019, expectations were as high as they’ve been in a decade in Dallas, and the pressure was ratcheted up by a number of players carrying expiring contracts into the summer—Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and Garrett himself among them. The mandate was clear. The Joneses were hopeful their storied franchise would be back on a level it hasn’t reached in a quarter-century. And coming up short would mean change would come. Which it has. A mediocre NFC East kept hope for Garrett’s survival alive, but a bad Week 16 loss to a wounded Philadelphia team killed that hope.

Ultimately Garrett’s legacy will be one of how Jerry Jones’s great coaching experiment came up short—the owner let the then-backup quarterback into coaching meetings in the late 1990s to prepare him for his next career, hired him as offensive coordinator in 2007 before making him the interim head coach in ’10 and full-time in ’11.

More than anything, the next head coach needs to make this team better aligned and more resilient—things that really weren’t issues for Dallas until 2019. The Cowboys didn’t win a single game in which they trailed at the half, and they lacked identity on both sides of the ball. That cost Dallas in the win column, and ultimately Garrett his job.

When it comes to the Cowboys’ next head coach, Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy have already been interviewed. Also watch for the Joneses to look to the college ranks for Garrett’s replacement. The family has a relationship with, and a ton of respect for, Oklahoma coach/native Texan Lincoln Riley, and may make him say no to a job every kid who grows up with football in that state would covet. Baylor’s Matt Rhule and ex-Ohio State coach Urban Meyer would be other names on whom to keep close tabs.

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