By SCHUYLER DIXON AP Pro Football Writer
Jason Garrett is out as coach of the Dallas Cowboys after missing the playoffs with an underachieving team in a make-or-break season. Garrett had the second-longest tenure at 9½ seasons behind Tom Landry’s 29 years. Garrett took over when Wade Phillips was fired halfway through the 2010 season. The Cowboys finished 8-8 in the final year of Garrett’s contract. It’s the fourth time Dallas finished 8-8 and missed the postseason under the 53-year-old coach. The Cowboys fueled high preseason expectations with a 3-0 start before dropping eight of 12 and losing control of their playoff fate.
Team statement added by Elizabeth Ruiz
“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,” said Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in a statement released Sunday. “His level of commitment, character and dedication to this organization has been outstanding at every stage of his career.”
Jones went on to say,” In his nine full years as a head coach, he guided our team to three division championships while also having them in position to play for the NFC East title in the last game of the year in four other seasons. 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.”
“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.”
“He is, and always will remain, a cherished member of the Dallas Cowboys family, and his contributions to the organization are greatly appreciated.”