The worst kept coaching carousel secret was made official today. Jerry Jones officially named Jason Garrett head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, removing the interim label from his title.
Garrett was originally hired by the Cowboys in January 2007 as offensive coordinator. The following year, Garrett received a significant raise making him the highest paid NFL assistant, leading many to believe he was the head coach in waiting.
Garrett finally received an opportunity to be the head coach of the Cowboys this season when Wade Phillips was fired after a 1-7 start to the season. Garrett went 5-3 as interim head coach of the Cowboys, leading Dallas to a 6-10 record to finish the season. The effort from Garrett was good enough for Jerry Jones to remove the interim label from Garrett’s title.
The next test of Garrett’s abilities as a head coach will be in the coming months and culminating in April with the 2011 NFL Draft, when the Cowboys select ninth overall.
Jerry Jones, despite maintaining that he is not far enough along in the process to determine that Jason Garrett will be his head coach moving forward, made several comments after the Cowboys’ win Sunday in Philadelphia that seem to suggest that he has in fact decided to remove Garrett's interim tag.
When asked whether his head coach would have power to hire the assistants, Jones slipped and tipped his hand.
"The answer is, when you say decision power, that is certainly something that Jason needs to have input in," said Jones, who elaborated by adding that Garrett had influence over several offensive assistants already on staff.
Garrett is the eighth head coach in team history. After Tom Landry served the club’s first 29 years in the position, Jones has had seven head coaches in 21 seasons.
NFL Network's Michael Lombardi is reporting that Jason Garrett had the interim tag removed from his title and is now the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys going forward. Dallas interviewed current wide receivers coach Ray Sherman which satisfies the NFL's "Rooney Rule" which mandates that each team interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a head coach. Now that Dallas has formally interviewed Sherman, the team can name Garrett head coach.
Garrett took over as interim head coach of the Cowboys after Wade Phillips was fired before Week 10. The Cowboys were 1-7 when Garrett took over, but have gone 4-3 under Garrett, giving Dallas a 5-10 record headed into Dallas' week 17 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Along with winning four games under Garrett so far, the team has without a doubt played much harder under Garrett than they did for Phillips.
Terms of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.