(Reuters) – Jason Garrett is out after a decade as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones announced on Sunday, a week after the National Football League’s most valuable team failed to make the playoffs.
Jones had kept faith with Garrett during several middling seasons, but the owner’s patience finally ran out as Dallas finished the season 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game.
The announcement of Garrett’s departure, however, did not come until seven days after the end of the regular season.
“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,” Jones said in a statement.
“His level of commitment, character and dedication to this organization has been outstanding at every stage of his career.”
Garrett’s fate was probably sealed two weeks ago when the Cowboys lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in their penultimate game, in which a victory would have clinched the weak NFC East.
Instead, the Eagles advanced to the postseason.
The Cowboys have already begun interviewing prospective replacements for Garrett, whose contract expires this month.
Former Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy and ex-Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis are among those reportedly under consideration.
Garrett had an 85-67 record with Dallas, three times guiding the team into the playoffs.
The 53-year-old had four-time Pro Bowler Tony Romo as his starting quarterback for the first half of the decade.
But Romo, hampered by a series of injuries, retired in 2016 after being displaced as starter by Dak Prescott, who has not been able to take the team to the next level.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Kim Coghill and Gerry Doyle)