Cowboys to Interview Super Bowl-Winning Head Coach: Report

Mike McCarthy

Getty Mike McCarthy looks on in a 2018 game.

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have finally — finally — put the wheels in motion to replace Jason Garrett.

The team will kick off its coaching search in earnest Saturday when they’ll meet with former Green Bay Packers head man Mike McCarthy, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Meanwhile, it appears as if they’re 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,” Rapoport tweeted.

The above echoes recent scoop from ESPN’s Ed Werder, who 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.”

“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.”

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.

The Packers fired McCarthy toward the tail end of the 2018 campaign, after a 20-17 loss to the Cardinals.

Last January, McCarthy interviewed for the Cleveland Browns’ HC job, which went to Freddie Kitchens, and the New York Jets’ opening, which was filled by Adam Gase. He then announced his intention to sit out the 2019 season, with an eye on returning in 2020.

McCarthy is the first candidate to interview for the Dallas gig. The team reportedly has also expressed interest in college coaches such as Oklahoma’s Lincoln 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.

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Marvin Lewis to Interview Saturday, As Well

The Cowboys are targeting candidates who own big-league experience. Owner Jerry Jones previously expressed apprehension about gambling on the unknown — i.e. 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.

Thus, the club is expected to sit down with former longtime Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis on Saturday, per Schefter.

Lewis, 61, held down the job 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.

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

By speaking to Lewis, the Cowboys will have fulfilled the NFL’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