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ESPN report: Jason Garrett will not return to the Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett is not expected to return as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Ed Werder reports tonight. Werder reported (below) that the Jones family has proceeded slowly thus far; but "that phase expected to conclude soon with Garrett not part of the organization."

This move has been the worst-kept secret in the NFL all season, especially among the loose-lipped leadership of Jerry and Stephen Jones. Garrett came into this season with boom-or-bust expectations following a 2018 season in which Dallas won the NFC East and reached the divisional round, and it appeared the Cowboys were finally prepared to join the NFL's elite after a 3-0 start in which the club scored at least 31 points and won each game by double digits.

But Dallas dropped eight of its next 12 games, with the final nail in the coffin coming via a 17-9 loss at Philadelphia in Week 16.

Aside from an injury-ravaged 4-12 season of 2015, the Cowboys never truly bottomed out under Garrett's near-decade long leadership (he finishes 82-62 in nine and a half seasons), but they never truly challenged for the Super Bowl, either. Garrett went 0-3 in divisional playoff games; he was the longest-tenured NFL head coach without a conference championship appearance by four seasons. (Houston's Bill O'Brien, hired 2014, is currently second.)

With Garrett out, the Cowboys' search -- the club's first since 2007 -- will be fascinating to follow. Jerry Jones is 77 years old, a quarter century removed from his last Super Bowl, and desperate to return. Anything from Urban Meyer to Jason Witten is on the table here.

Stay tuned to each twist and turn on The Scoop.