FRISCO, Texas (AP) – The Dallas Cowboys are interviewing Mike McCarthy to be their coach, two people with knowledge of the situation said Saturday. It’s the surest sign so far the team is moving on from Jason Garrett.
McCarthy was set to visit with Dallas on Saturday, the people told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the club isn’t commenting publicly on its coaching situation.
One of the people said the Cowboys haven’t felt the urgency to address Garrett’s status because his contract expires Jan. 14. Dallas missed the playoffs for the sixth time in Garrett’s nine full seasons by finishing 8-8 in a year that started with high expectations.
McCarthy won a Super Bowl with Green Bay at the home of the Cowboys to finish the 2010 season. The Packers won at least 10 games in eight of his first 11 seasons before going 7-9 in 2017. He was fired with the Packers at 4-7-1 last season.
The 56-year-old McCarthy has already interviewed with Cleveland, Carolina and the New York Giants.
The Cowboys haven’t addressed Garrett’s status publicly, and he’s continued to work at team headquarters in the week since the season ended.
With two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, McCarthy went 125-77-2 in the regular season in 12-plus seasons with the Packers. McCarthy’s teams made the playoffs nine times, going 10-8. Two of those wins were over Dallas.
The Cowboys believe they have their next franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott, who was the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after replacing the injured Tony Romo and never relinquishing the starting job.
Prescott, whose rookie contract is expiring, and two-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott have made the playoffs twice in four seasons and got their first playoff victory in 2018 after losing their postseason debut to Rodgers and McCarthy with Dallas as the NFC’s top seed in 2016.
McCarthy was fired after an embarrassing loss at Lambeau Field to Arizona, a defeat that all but sealed a second straight year without a postseason trip for the Packers when they had made it the previous eight seasons.
With a mandate to get the Cowboys past the divisional round for the first time in nearly 25 years, Garrett couldn’t build on a 3-0 start. Dallas went 4-8 in the next 12 games with a pair of three-game losing streaks.
The Cowboys still had a chance to make the playoffs with a win at Philadelphia in Week 16, but the 17-9 loss handed their postseason fate to the Eagles for the final week. Philadelphia beat the New York Giants 34-17, eliminating Dallas despite its 47-16 win over Washington.
Dallas finished 8-8 four times under Garrett, who has an 87-70 record, including 2-3 in the playoffs, in nine-plus seasons.
Despite never winning more than one playoff game in a season, the 53-year-old Garrett has the club’s second-longest tenure behind Tom Landry.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer Landry led Dallas for the franchise’s first 29 seasons and won two Super Bowls before Jones fired him when he bought the team in 1989. Garrett is Jones’ seventh coach.