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Cowboys news: Jason Garrett is officially out as head coach, so what now for Dallas?

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Start your week off right with the latest Cowboys news.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys announce they won’t renew Jason Garrett’s contract - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys finally announced that Jason Garrett will not be back as head coach in 2020. While this was the thought for a while now, the team officially announced the move on Sunday afternoon.

The awkward ending of Jason Garrett’s tenure is official, seven days after the Dallas Cowboys’ season concluded, with the team announcing Sunday it would not seek a new agreement on a contract extension.

”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,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement. “His level of commitment, character and dedication to this organization has been outstanding at every stage of his career. ... His tenure of leadership will be characterized by his ability to produce teams that always played with great effort, emotion and passion, and he represented our organization with great pride, loyalty and respect.”

The announcement ends a confusing weekend that saw the Cowboys interview Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy, even though Garrett was still technically employed. Garrett’s contract was set to expire Jan. 14.

Garrett posted an 85-67 record as Cowboys coach, making the playoffs three times but winning just two playoff games and failing to make it out of the divisional round in 2016 as the top seed in the NFC. The Cowboys finished with an 8-8 mark in 2019, the fourth time in Garrett’s tenure they finished with a .500 record.

Cowboys move on from Jason Garrett. Where do they go now? - Jon Machota, The Athletic

Now what? Machota looks at where the Cowboys go now following the news that the organization will be hiring a new head coach.

No obvious replacement has emerged, but a coaching search is expected to include several current college coaches like Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Baylor’s Matt Rhule, and former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer. Others that make some sense include former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Florida’s Dan Mullen and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. The Cowboys have already begun interviewing candidates for the job, and among them are former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

In terms of current NFL head coaches that would interest the Cowboys, Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer and New Orleans’ Sean Payton are the most mentioned because of their previous assistant coaching ties to the Cowboys. And, of course, Jones would have to make a call to New England’s Bill Belichick if he thought there was any possibility. An obstacle with any of those options is that their current contract situations could force Dallas to part with several valuable draft picks in exchange.

Regardless of who the Cowboys pick, it will be someone they believe can win immediately. Jones does not view this as a rebuilding project. He’s very confident in the nucleus of this team under contract that includes Elliott, La’el Collins, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Prescott and Amari Cooper were in the final year of their rookie contracts, but Jones expects to sign both long-term and continue building around them.

What’s Next For The Cowboys In Coaching Search? - Nick Eatman and Rob Phillips, The Mothership

The duo of Eatman and Phillips dive into what is next for the Dallas Cowboys. The team has already held interviews with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy and former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

With Sunday’s official announcement, the organization is now embarking on its first head-coaching search in more than a decade.

According to multiple reports, the Cowboys have interviewed former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who have more than 30 years of combined NFL head-coaching experience.

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After coaching the Packers from 2006-18, including winning a Super Bowl at AT&T Stadium to end the 2010 season, McCarthy was out of coaching this past year. He has a 125-77-2 career record with nine playoff appearances, including eight straight from 2009-16.

Lewis, 61, also spent this season away from the NFL as a special advisor to Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards. He coached the Bengals for 16 seasons (2003-18) with a 131-122-3 record and seven playoff appearances.

Wanted: A coach to take Cowboys’ talent to Super Bowl - Todd Archer, ESPN

It is clear the Cowboys have talent. But who will be the man to take them to the mountain top? Jerry Jones is looking for his ‘Jon Gruden’.

With quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, three Pro Bowl-level offensive linemen, wide receiver Amari Cooper, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, Jones believes there is a core in place to win games.

In walking away from Jason Garrett after nine full-time seasons, Jones believes the next coach of the Cowboys has the chance to be his Jon Gruden.

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In 1996, coach Tony Dungy took over a moribund franchise in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before his arrival, Tampa Bay had last made the playoffs in the strike-shortened 1982 season. Dungy had the Buccaneers in the playoffs in his second season, and they made it to the NFC Championship Game in his fourth. Tampa Bay advanced to the postseason in 2000 and 2001, but lost in the wild-card round both seasons.

With a roster built through the draft with players such as Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Ronde Barber and John Lynch on defense, Tampa Bay ownership believed Dungy had done all he could do with the roster; it moved on and swung for the fences.

The Bucs gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million in cash to the Oakland Raiders for Gruden to take over as head coach.

In Gruden’s first season in 2002, the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII.

Cowboys fire Jason Garrett: Will Jerry Jones adjust for next HC? - Judy Battista, NFL.com

Battista wonders if Jerry Jones will change at all with new head coach.

What drove the change now is the sense that Dallas is stuck in neutral again, and that, too, has been a problem for much longer than one season. It has, in fact, been that way since that last Super Bowl in 1995. They have already wasted the careers of Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant, and a protracted turnaround would mean not taking advantage of the prime years of Prescott, Elliott and a stellar offensive line. Jones, who is 77, wants desperately to win another championship. He certainly has the talent, especially on offense, to contend again quickly. But the Cowboys need renewed attention to detail and creative play-calling to elevate this roster into a perennial contender. In Garrett’s nine-plus seasons as head coach, the Cowboys advanced to the postseason three times, winning a total of two games.

The question looming over the Cowboys search will be if Jones is finally prepared to cede some of his own visibility to get the right coach, college or pro? Of the jobs likely to be available, Jones can offer the roster that is most primed to win right now, but Jones has not had a highly pedigreed coach since Bill Parcells. Garrett was willing to put up with Jones giving weekly state-of-the-franchise updates because he had little choice. Garrett’s authority was undoubtedly undermined, though, and that didn’t benefit anyone. It is not a condition that exists at any other franchise. Jones certainly should be able to lure whichever coach he wants -- he has plenty of money, a fine roster and monstrous prestige to offer -- but helping a new coach be successful will be Jones’ next challenge because he is surely the face of the franchise, beyond what any coach or player could be.

Jones wasn’t wrong when he said he should not be as frustrated as he has been, considering the makeup of his team. But to land the person who can end more than two decades of frustration, Jones might finally have to let someone else be the constant voice of the Cowboys.

At Long Last, Jason Garrett Is Out As Cowboys Head Coach - Danny Heifetz, The Ringer

We are all wondering who the next head man of America’s Team will be, but should the blame for the lack of success start at the top.

There are plenty of candidates to become the Cowboys’ next coach. They’ve reportedly already interviewed former Packers coach Mike McCarthy and former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. At the college level, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, Baylor’s Matt Rhule, and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer have all been rumored to be on Dallas’s radar. Coaching the most popular team in America and the most valuable sports franchise in the world is tantalizing enough to intrigue anybody this side of Bill Belichick. But whoever Jones chooses will not be in charge. Jerry is in charge.

“You can’t look at three playoff wins over the last 25 years and surmise that all the problems over that time have to do with coaching,” former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman said earlier this month. “I think you have to look at the top and say how are we doing it from the top? I think businesses do that. I think anyone worth their salt evaluate it from the top down.”

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Jones says he would give up anything for another Super Bowl, but when he hires his next head coach, we’ll see whether he’s willing to give up any control. If not, he may have to be happy with another billion dollars.

Opinion: Urban Meyer, Bill Cowher should be at top of Cowboys’ coaching candidates list - Jarrett Bell, USA Today

What should the Cowboys look for in its next head coach?

The structure of the Cowboys is in place with the GM aided by his son, Stephen Jones, heading the personnel department and the lower-profiled-but-essential Will McClay in the wings as vice president of personnel and football operations director Todd Williams playing a key role in salary cap management.

Picking the talent and creatively working the cap is not the issue.

It’s coaching to bring out the best from that structure, while operating under the intense scrutiny – behind closed doors and in the much-hyped public exposure – that makes it a challenge unlike no other.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has got to do it — and better than it has been done in years.

How Could Cowboys Next Head Coach Impact Dak Prescott’s Offseason? - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Dak Prescott is the face of the most valuable franchise in the world, so the hire of the next coach is extremely important.

The head coaching is search is underway in Dallas, with names like Mike McCarthy and Marvin Lewis already being reported as interviewees for the Cowboys. No matter who winds up replacing Jason Garrett, the question of Quarterback Dak Prescott‘s future will certainly loom largely over any discussions.

Prescott’s rookie contract has expired, leaving Dallas in the tough spot of having to decide the next step with Dak while also undergoing a regime change on the coaching staff. The Cowboys likely wish they could have had one of these things stabilized before dealing with the other, but the situation is what it is.

That said, it’s Prescott who may be in the worst spot of any parties involved. The Jones will still own the Cowboys and the next head coach will be guaranteed a job for at least the 2020 season, but Dak will wind up being the last remaining variable.

Depending on who the Cowboys eventually hire as coach, how much say could he have in what Dallas ultimately decides to do with Dak Prescott?

Of course, Dak being the QB of the future may not be negotiable. The Jones may be making that clear to everyone they interview; the job comes with a long-term commitment to Prescott as starting quarterback.

Cowboys Rumors: DAL to ‘Take the Temperature’ of Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley - Rob Goldberg, Bleacher Report

Do the Cowboys have their eyes on Oklahoma Sooners head coach and offensive mastermind Lincoln Riley?

The Dallas Cowboys will check the availability of Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley for their head coaching job, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

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“Expect them to at least take the temperature of Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, see if he is actually interested in coming to the NFL,” Rapoport said. “I’ve talked to people close to him. They don’t think so, but no one has said definitively ‘no.’”

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Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported in December that Riley is “very high on the radar of the Jones family.”

While firing Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sticks it to Philadelphia Eagles - Kevin Manahan, NJ.com

The timing of the announcement was likely no accident.

Somebody tell Jerry Jones there was an NFC East team in a playoff game last night.

We’re joking. He knew.

The Dallas Cowboys owner decided that the third quarter of the Philadelphia Eagles’ NFC Wild Card Game against the Seattle Seahawks was the time to announce that he was dumping Jason Garrett as head coach in what’s been the messiest Dallas divorce since Sue Ellen Ewing put a tail on J.R.

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