After being eliminated from playoff contention despite a win yesterday, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones are expected to allow head coach Jason Garrett’s contract to expire, per a report from Patrik Walker, who covers the Cowboys for CBS.
There have been a few different opinions on when exactly Garrett’s contract is up. Some have said it’s at the end of the calendar year, while other credible reports (like this from Ian Rapoport) nail down January 14th as the final day of Garrett’s contract.
Regardless, the expectation is that Garrett will hit the open coaching market and the Cowboys will begin a search for a new head coach.
After the loss yesterday, owner Jerry Jones wasn’t willing to provide any clarity on the future of his head coach.
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.
Following an 10-6 2018 season, the Cowboys shook up their staff in the hopes of improved results, but an 8-8 finish to the 2019 season was ultimately not what they were hoping for.
Garrett holds a 85-67 mark as the head coach of the Cowboys dating back to 2010. It took him four full seasons to lead the team to the playoffs, and Garrett went 0-3 in those 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.) For a franchise and fan base that had become accustomed to competing for Super Bowl titles, that simply wasn’t enough.
CBS shares that a number of teams have already reached out to express interest in Garrett, provided that the Cowboys don’t offer him a position in their front office.
From @gmfb: #Cowboys coach Jason Garrett's contract is up on Jan. 14, but it's highly unlikely owner Jerry Jones waits until then to officially move in a new direction and start their search. pic.twitter.com/CSwF7Hf964
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 30, 2019
— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) December 30, 2019
I’m told entire #Cowboys coaching staff has been fired.
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) December 30, 2019