FRISCO, Texas — Jason Garrett is out as coach of the Dallas Cowboys after missing the playoffs with an underachieving team in a make-or-break season.
The Cowboys made it official Sunday.
Garrett had the second-longest tenure with the franchise 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.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones decided Garrett isn’t the coach who can end the longest stretch in franchise history without a trip to the Super Bowl.
The inevitable conclusion was a difficult one for Jones, who kept Garrett for nine full seasons after giving the former backup to three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Troy Aikman the interim job when Phillips was fired halfway through the 2010 season.
Garrett’s record is 87-70, playoffs included.
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. Garrett got them within a victory of the NFC championship game three times in five years, losing to Green Bay twice and then the Los Angeles Rams last season.
When training camp opened, Jones didn’t want to talk about what it would take for Garrett to get another contract. It had been five years since Garrett was coaching for his job and the Cowboys went 12-4 and won a wild-card game before a loss at the Packers that included the infamous catch that wasn’t by Dez Bryant.
Jones had high hopes with quarterback Dak Prescott going into his fourth season along with star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who got a $90 million extension the morning of the first practice of the regular season after holding out the entire preseason.
With Dallas at 3-0, video emerged of Jones mingling with fans in the French Quarter the night before a game in New Orleans. Dallas lost 12-10 to start the first of two three-game losing streaks.
The Cowboys have never made the playoffs when losing at least three straight games twice in a season, although they had a chance to qualify with a win at Philadelphia in Week 16. Dallas lost 17-9, then was eliminated in Week 17 despite a blowout victory over Washington when the Eagles beat the New York Giants.