Frisco, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys made official Sunday night what they had already signaled: Jason Garrett is out as coach.
Garrett was informed he wouldn’t be back for a 10th full season on the same day the Cowboys finished an interview with former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl with the Packers on Dallas’ home field nine years ago.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones decided not to renew Garrett’s expiring contract because Super Bowl-winning quarterback Troy Aikman’s former backup couldn’t get the Cowboys back to football’s biggest stage, an absence that’s approaching a quarter-century.
At 9½ seasons, 53-year-old Garrett had the club’s second-longest tenure behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Tom Landry, who coached the Cowboys for the franchise’s first 29 years before Jones fired him when he bought the team in 1989.
Dallas finished 8-8 for the fourth time under Garrett. The Cowboys fueled high preseason expectations with a 3-0 start before dropping eight of 12 and losing control of their playoff fate. Dallas missed the playoffs six times in Garrett’s nine full seasons.
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The inevitable conclusion was a difficult one for Jones, who hired Garrett as offensive coordinator in 2007 even before choosing Wade Phillips as coach. Garrett got the interim job when Phillips was fired halfway through the 2010 season.
Garrett’s record is 87-70, playoffs included.
“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,” Jones said in a statement released by the team that ended a week of speculation on the future of Garrett, who continued showing up at team headquarters after the season ended.
“His level of commitment, character and dedication to this organization has been outstanding at every stage of his career.”
With Garrett’s status unresolved publicly, the Cowboys interviewed McCarthy and former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis over the weekend.
McCarthy reached the playoffs nine times in 13 seasons with the Packers, reaching the NFC title game four times.
Green Bay won at least 10 games eight times in his first 11 seasons before going 7-9 in 2017. McCarthy was fired with the Packers at 4-7-1 last season.
The biggest knock on Lewis was his 0-7 playoff record with the Bengals. He had a 131-122-3 record in the regular season and was fired after a third straight losing season in 2018.
Dallas hasn’t been past the divisional round of the playoffs in 24 straight seasons since the club’s fifth Super Bowl title to finish the 1995 season.
Three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long announced he is retiring after seven seasons with the Chicago Bears.
The oft-injured Long tweeted he is “stepping away and getting my body right.”
The son of a Hall of Fame defensive end, Long made the Pro Bowl at right guard and tackle his first three seasons after Chicago drafted him with the No. 20 overall pick in 2013.
But he played in just 30 games the past four years — four this season.
... The Bears hired Juan Castillo as offensive line coach, reuniting the 24-year NFL assistant with head coach Matt Nagy.