FRISCO, Texas – A week since the Cowboys' season ended, the speculation is now official: Jason Garrett will not return as head coach.
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.
McCarthy, 56, has already met with the Giants, Browns and Panthers about their vacant head coach positions.
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.
Lewis is a defensive-minded coach who spearheaded the great Baltimore Ravens defense in 2000 as the defensive coordinator.
Now that Garrett officially will not be back for a 10th season as head coach, it remains to be seen where the Cowboys' search goes next.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has not conducted a full-fledged coaching search since 2007, when Bill Parcells decided to retire after four years on the job. That year, Jones interviewed several candidates before hiring Wade Phillips, who held the position until the middle of the 2010 season when Garrett was promoted after a 1-7 start.
"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 an official statement Sunday night.
This wasn't an easy decision for Jones and the organization. But now, the search is on for the ninth head coach in franchise history.