The Dallas Cowboys formally notified Jason Garrett on Sunday, one week after their season ended, that he will not be retained as their coach. That notification was confirmed by a person familiar with the situation after first being reported by Fox Sports. The Cowboys did not publicly confirm the dismissal of Garrett, whose contract was set to expire Jan. 14. The news became public during the Seahawks-Eagles playoff game.
The team likewise did not confirm a report last week by ESPN that owner Jerry Jones and his son Stephen, a top executive for the team, had decided to move on without Garrett in the organization after an 8-8 season.
The Cowboys already had begun interviewing potential replacements for Garrett. They met Saturday with former NFL head coaches Marvin Lewis and Mike McCarthy. They had been expected to dismiss Garrett after going 8-8 this season and missing the playoffs. ESPN had reported that Garrett had been lobbying to keep his job.
New England's early exit from the playoffs Saturday night had repercussions for NFL teams seeking their next head coach, motivating them to move quickly with Josh McDaniels interviews.
The Patriots' offensive coordinator and Tom Brady whisperer is expected to interview for the NFL's four head coaching openings - with the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers and Cowboys.
- - -
- Carolina Panthers
Rivera was let go in early December, with four games left in the regular season. Interim coach Perry Fewell, the team's former defensive backs coach, confirmed last week that he would interview for the permanent job. The team was 0-4 under Fewell. Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy has interviewed with Carolina, according to ESPN, and the NFL Network reported that Baylor Coach Matt Rhule will be interviewed, as will Josh McDaniels. The team also is interested in Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, Rhule and Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Rhule met with his Baylor players as they prepared for the Sugar Bowl and told them that "if he has an opportunity to talk with an NFL team, it would be kinda dumb not to," linebacker Terrel Bernard said. "Just for him, personally. We have a veteran team, I think all the guys understand where he's coming from."
- Cleveland Browns
As the first week of the postseason drew to an end, the team was focusing on seven candidates, per Cleveland.com, with six of them offensive-minded coaches.
McDaniels, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and Vikings offensive coordinator Stefanski will interview this week. Last week, McCarthy, who drew some interest from Cleveland last year, interviewed in Cleveland, as well as with the Giants, Cowboys and Panthers. The team interviewed Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Thursday night in Baltimore, and Bieniemy on Friday in Kansas City, then met with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, the only defensive coach on its list, Saturday.
Rhule declined to interview with the Browns, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.
The Browns also are looking for a general manager after they and John Dorsey mutually agreed to part company last week. The team is now seeking its eighth GM in the 16 years.
- Dallas Cowboys
This will be one of the more attractive openings, with a talented, under-achieving roster. The team has already interviewed McCarthy and Lewis.
- New York Giants
The Giants, with four wins, made the decision to move on from Pat Shurmur , who was 9-23 in two seasons. The franchise is on to its fourth coach since the departure of Tom Coughlin after the 2015 season.
After the Patriots lost, the Giants reportedly moved up their interview with McDaniels.
They've interviewed McCarthy, Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale (with hope that he'd bring LSU passing-game wunderkind Joe Brady with him, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport) and, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Cowboys passing game coordinator Kris Richard - whose contract is about to expire in Dallas alongside Garrett's. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last week that an unexpected name had surfaced: Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge, who has been on Bill Belichick's staff since 2012.
The team also is expected to interview Rhule on Tuesday.
- - -
- Washington Redskins
Ron Rivera, the former coach of the Carolina Panthers, was officially announced as Washington's new coach on Wednesday.
In eight seasons as coach of the Panthers, Rivera went 76-63-1 and made the playoffs four times, with one trip to the Super Bowl.
Interim coach Bill Callahan was 3-8 for Washington after replacing the fired Jay Gruden, who was 0-5 this season and 35-49-1 over parts of six seasons.
- - -
The eternal dilemma: Hire a big-name college coach, an up-and-coming NFL coordinator or a head-coaching retread? There are plenty of options in all three categories.
At least four former NFL head coaches may get another shot, McCarthy being one of them. Lewis, long on NFL experience, has been an adviser to Herman Edwards at Arizona State, but he has been in the conversation about returning to the NFL. Lewis took the Bengals to the playoffs seven times in 16 seasons.
Jim Caldwell, another longtime NFL coach, is ready to return to the profession after leaving his assistant position with the Dolphins in the preseason because of health problems. Caldwell posted three winning seasons in four years with Detroit, led the Lions to their first 11-win season since 1991 and twice made playoff appearances.
McDaniels created a stir when he turned down an Indianapolis Colts job he had already accepted in early 2018, but he may no longer be inclined to wait for Bill Belichick's retirement - especially if he thinks Tom Brady will no longer be the quarterback.
Roman, Daboll, Bieniemy and Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka are other names to watch.
Alabama's Nick Saban always shows up on this list, as does former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who hasn't coached since the 2018 season and has been working for Fox. If he decides he's ready to try the NFL, he'll have options, especially in the NFC East. Already, he created a stir when he attended a Redskins game.
Others drawing interest are Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley (especially in Dallas) and Stanford's David Shaw.
Garrett also will likely be in demand, though no team has expressed a desire to interview him just yet.
- - -
- Atlanta Falcons
Despite a six-game losing streak, the Falcons didn't quit on Dan Quinn and the team announced last week that he and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff will return in 2020. Quinn is 43-37 with the Falcons, with two playoff berths and one Super Bowl appearance in five seasons.
- Detroit Lions
The Lions announced earlier this month that both Coach Matt Patricia and General Manager Bob Quinn would be back in 2020.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Doug Marrone was thought to be in trouble after a tumultuous season in which quarterback Nick Foles was out with a broken collarbone and star cornerback Jalen Ramsey pulled all kinds of stunts before getting shipped to the Rams. Plus, the NFL Players Association took the unusual step of warning players to be wary of signing with the Jaguars and Tom Coughlin was subsequently booted as the executive vice president of football operations. However, owner Shad Khan announced that he was retaining Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell.
- New York Jets
The Jets started 1-7 under first-year coach Adam Gase, but they won six of their last eight games and Gase appears to be safe. Christopher Johnson, the team's CEO, told reporters in November that "there will be no changes in coaches here."