The Cowboys, after a long week of uncertainty, announced Sunday evening that Jason Garrett will not be extended.
No, the official statement from Jerry Jones did not say the Cowboys were firing—or even terminating—their head coach of the last decade.
But for the first time in more than 12 years, Jason Garrett is no longer an employee of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys said the team “would not seek a new agreement on a contract extension” with Garrett. Jones included a statement thanking Garrett for more than 20 years with the Cowboys as a player, assistant coach and then head coach.
“Jason Garrett’s legacy with the Dallas Cowboys will always be that of someone who strived for greatness every day that he walked through the door, and as someone who instilled the virtues of enthusiasm, hard work and appreciation for the profession in all of the men who played with him and for him,” Jones said in the statement. “He is, and always will remain, a cherished member of the Dallas Cowboys family, and his contributions to the organization are greatly appreciated.”
Thank You, Jason Garrett pic.twitter.com/l5PxoZ0t2j
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 6, 2020
#Breaking: Cowboys officially announce team will not extend Jason Garrett.
From Jerry Jones: pic.twitter.com/v0mJoxoqum
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 5, 2020
Garrett texted his assistant coaches shortly after the team released a statement, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly comment on Garrett’s message. The head coach thanked his assistants for their time, reiterating his pride in what they accomplished during the Cowboys’ 8-8 2019 season and prior campaigns.
Assistants were not formally notified that Garrett’s future before Jones’ statement to reporters, the person said. Even coaches whose contracts expired earlier last week continued to report Friday after their contracts ended. Not until Saturday were they told by text message they no longer needed to come in. This was all part of a curious timeline that led to the team interviewing ex-NFL coaches Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy, per multiple reports, before officially announcing Garrett’s exit Sunday during the third quarter of the Eagles’ wild-card game.
But Jones had long hinted at a departure. The Cowboys chose not to extend Garrett before 2019 as he coached the final season of his five-year deal.
During the season, too, Jones consistently suggested Garrett’s future with the Cowboys wasn’t a given. He praised coaches who beat the Cowboys in the aftermath of losses. He declared that Dallas got outcoached following a 13-9 November loss in New England. He told USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell in December that “generally, my radar is turned on” to other coaching candidates. Jones praised coaches like Urban Meyer and Baylor’s Matt Rhule, also giving the not-so-convincing vote of confidence that Garrett “will be coaching in the NFL next year.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Jori Epstein