Report: Cowboys 'Intensely Focused' on Coaches with Extensive NFL HC Experience

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 6, 2020

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 07: Green Bay Packers head football coach Mike McCarthy watches the warms ups prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Packers 31-23. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) ** Mike McCarthy **
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys officially parted ways with head coach Jason Garrett on Sunday after he led the team from 2010-2019. 

Dallas is now searching for its ninth head coach in team history. While it's unknown who that person may be, ESPN's Chris Mortensen highlighted the type of leader the team is looking to hire:

"The Dallas Cowboys are intensely focused on head-coach candidates who have extensive NFL experience in the role and a track record of success, which is why former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis were interviewed this weekend, according to a source familiar with the search for Jason Garrett's replacement."

McCarthy, 56, coached the Green Bay Packers from 2006-2018 and amassed a 125–77–2 record. He led the team to a Super Bowl XLV win.

Lewis, 61, went 131–122–3 with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003-2018. The Bengals made the playoffs seven times in his tenure after failing to do so from 1991-2002.

Mortensen also reported that the team spoke with ex-Tennessee Titans and St. Louis and Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher over the phone. However, Fisher's three-year hiatus away following the Rams' 2016 midseason firing "was a detriment to scheduling a formal interview."

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Officially, the Cowboys announced that Garrett's contract, which is set to expire on January 14, will not be renewed. However, the team's official statement is reportedly symbolic of how fast the team wants to get going here, per Mortensen.

"A handful of league executives, coaches and agents told ESPN that the statement was a sign that owner Jerry Jones is prepared to move quickly in his search for a new coach," he wrote.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports also dropped a nine-tweet thread on the Cowboys' coaching search.

Like Mortensen, Robinson also said the team is looking more towards experienced NFL head coaches rather than a current or former college head coach, such as Baylor's Matt Rhule, Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley and ex-Ohio State and Florida head coach Urban Meyer.

"A reason why we're hearing HC names w/ significant NFL experience (McCarthy, Lewis, Payton, etc.) and less about Rhule, Riley and Meyer is that Jerry (and Jerry specifically) isn't big on another elongated "teaching" process like the last one w/ Garrett. Being proven will count," Robinson tweeted.

McCarthy's interview went so well that he stayed an extra day in Dallas for further discussions, per FOX Sports' Jay Glazer (h/t Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports).

Per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (h/t RJ Ochoa of Blogging the Boys), Lewis wants to bring along former NFL head coach Hue Jackson to be his offensive coordinator.

That may run counter to Robinson's report about the new head coach potentially needing to keep a few coaches on Garrett's staff.

"Pliability on the coaching staff is going to be a plus for some candidates," Robinson tweeted. "If you're a guy like Mike McCarthy or Marvin Lewis, you may very well need to retain four offensive coaches: OC Kellen Moore, OL coach Marc Colombo, QBs coach Jon Kitna and RBs coach Gary Brown."

Lewis served as a special adviser to Arizona State football head coach Herm Edwards this past season.

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