Cowboys Set Earliest Date to Move on From Jason Garrett: Report

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For at least 48 more hours, Jason Garrett will remain the Dallas Cowboys head coach.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that no decision on Garrett’s future with the organization is expected this weekend. Rapoport, who pinged a source close to the situation, suggests to “tune in Monday” when the team could (and likely will) cut ties with the 53-year-old after a decade on the job.

“Jason Garrett, as of right now, still employed as the Cowboys coach,” Rapoport said. “Remember, this was essentially something that was expected, that they would move on from Jason Garrett. In fact, Jerry Jones said it before the season ended: Garrett needed to win the division and go to the playoffs — and, from what I understand, go deep in the playoffs — to keep his job. None of that happened. They are not in the playoffs. They are, in fact, expected to move on.”

Garrett met with the Jones family on Monday and Tuesday as part of his exit interviews — standard operating procedure at the end of a regular season. There was conflicting information on Garrett’s third sitdown with Jerry and Stephen Jones, which was expected after New Year’s Day.

Based on Rapoport’s hearsay, the Cowboys are simply allowing the clock to run out on Garrett’s contract, which expires Tuesday, Jan. 14.

“The team has not announced anything on coach Jason Garrett, though they are expected to move on from him and are laying the groundwork for a search,” he said.

ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Thursday that Garrett “soon” will no longer be part of the organization and the quest to find his successor will be far-reaching but come together “quickly” with out-of-house interviews.

“Source: #Cowboys Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones have moved slowly and with “abundance of care and respect” for Jason Garrett,” Werder tweeted. “That phase expected to conclude soon with Garrett not part of organization. Next phase to involve candidate interviews will begin quickly thereafter.”

On Friday, Cowboys coaches and players intimated to NFL Network’s Jane Slater that nothing was “imminent” regarding Garrett.

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Cowboys Reportedly Interview Two Candidates on Saturday

If Dallas is intent on retaining Garrett for 2020, giving him a new deal in the process, they have a funny way of showing it. Their coaching search essentially started Saturday, as former Packers head man Mike McCarthy and former Bengals HC Marvin Lewis interviewed at The Star for the soon-to-be vacancy.

The Cowboys are targeting candidates who own big-league experience over those considered up-and-comers. Jerry Jones previously expressed apprehension about gambling on the unknown — i.e. Lincoln Riley’s transition to the pros — so it makes sense that he’s seeking more of a sure thing, or the closest he can come to it, anyway.

If they’re looking for coaches with skin in the game, McCarthy certainly fits the bill. He spent nearly two decades as an NFL assistant — offensive coordinator for the Chiefs (1993-94), Saints (2000-04) and 49ers (2005), and quarterbacks coach for Kansas City (1995-98) and Packers (1999) — before taking the big seat in Green Bay in 2006.

Across 13 seasons as the Packers’ head man, McCarthy compiled a 125-77-2 regular-season record (.618) and a 10-8 mark in the playoffs. The Packers made the postseason nine times under his watch, including a 2010 run to Super Bowl XLV, where they defeated the Steelers, 31-25, delivering the legendary franchise its fourth Vince Lombardi trophy and 13th NFL title overall.

Lewis, 61, held the head-coaching seat in Cincinnati for a whopping 16 years, tallying a 131-122-3 regular-season record across 256 games from 2003-2018. His playoff record, though, is abysmal: 0-7. And his squads? Perennially average, never advancing beyond the Wild Card round. (Sound familiar?)

Lewis agreed to mutually part ways with the Bengals following the 2018 season. He was employed this last year as a special consultant at Arizona State, working alongside Herm Edwards.

Lewis is the first candidate to formally interview for the Dallas gig. The club reportedly has also expressed interest in college coaches such as Riley and former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer. On the NFL side, they’ve unofficially been linked to Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Vikings HC Mike Zimmer.

By sitting down with Lewis, the Cowboys have fulfilled the league’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams interview minority candidates for HC and general manager positions before they are filled.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL