The Dallas Cowboys will not retain head coach Jason Garrett after 10 seasons, according to Jerry Jones, the owner and general manager of the Cowboys.
After a series of meetings throughout the week, Jones declined to offer Garrett a new deal. Earlier this season, Jones also decided against offering Garrett an extension, leaving many to believe Garrett would only save his job with a Super Bowl win or at least a trip to the NFC title game.
Garrett's five-year contract, which is valued at $30 million, expires Jan. 14.
"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," Jones said in a statement released late Sunday. "His level of commitment, character & dedication to this organization has been outstanding at every stage of his career."
The Cowboys finished the 2019 season 8-8. In a week 16 matchup to secure the NFC East crown, the team fell to the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-9.
For the Cowboys to have made the playoffs, which start this weekend, they needed to defeat the Washington Redskins on Sunday and hope for an Eagles loss. While the Cowboys won 47-16, the Eagles beat the New York Giants 34-17 to win the division.
The Giants also made a coaching move after the season, firing head coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons.
The question now becomes who Jones will hire as the ninth coach of "America's Team"?
According to a report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the team started interviewing candidates before announcing Garrett would not return, bringing in former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, as well as Mike McCarthy, the ex-Green Bay Packers head coach who led the team to a Super Bowl XLV win.
Rumors have also been swirling around NFL circles about college coach Urban Meyer, who last coached Ohio State in 2018.
Meyer resigned from Ohio State after the 2018 season to focus on his health. He had surgery in 2014 to treat a congenital arachnoid cyst in his brain, which isn't life-threatening but can cause severe headaches, he's previously told reporters. He was also suspended by the university for the first three games of his final season after an investigation discovered he mishandled a domestic abuse allegation involving a former assistant coach.
Meyer has a tie to the Cowboys, coaching the team's star running back Ezekiel Elliott when he played for Ohio State from 2013 to 2016. Meyer's record as a college coach is 187-32 with a 12-3 record in career bowl games, including stints at the University of Florida and the University of Utah. Meyer has won three national championships — two at Florida and one at Ohio State.
The Cowboys were also rumored to have an interest in New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, but the he is no longer an option. Payton signed a five-year extension with the Saints in September. Financial terms of the contract were not made available.
If the Cowboys still decide to make a run for Payton, they would need to request permission to speak with the 59-year-old coach and offer a compensation package to the Saints should the two sides agree.
Payton served as an assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach with the Cowboys in 2003 under then-coach Bill Parcells. Payton left the team in 2006 when he was hired by the Saints, which he led to a Super Bowl victory in 2010.
Initially hired as the team's offensive coordinator in 2007, Garrett made his head coaching debut on Nov. 14, 2010, taking over for Wade Phillips, who was fired by the Cowboys following a 45-7 blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Garrett would finish his tenure as the Cowboys coach with an overall record of 85-67 in 152 games, going 2-3 in five postseason contests.