Jason Garrett’s Cowboys exit imminent: What’s behind the plan

The Cowboys’ Jason Garrett exit plan is taking shape.

Their slow walk of Garrett to the unemployment line is owners Jerry and Stephen Jones’ attempt to move with an “abundance of care and respect” for the coach after his nine-plus seasons with the team, according to ESPN.

According to the report, the Cowboys’ holding period on the coach’s future will likely end soon, and Garrett is not expected to remain with the organization when it’s over. Dallas then will quickly shift to candidate interviews for their first full coaching search since Bill Parcells called it quits after the 2006 season.

Garrett reportedly showed up to work as usual Thursday but he did not have his scheduled meeting with the Joneses. Jerry Jones’ respect for Garrett is well-documented and is likely playing a role in Dallas’ unorthodox handling of this situation. The two sides already met on Monday and Tuesday. Garrett’s contract runs out on Jan. 14.

The Cowboys just finished an 8-8 season — their fourth under Garrett, in which the Eagles beat out Dallas for the NFC East title and a playoff berth. Garrett is 85-67 overall with three trips to the postseason, but he’s never made it past the divisional round.

Earlier on Thursday, ESPN reported there was some wonder around the Cowboys building that Garrett could still end up with a role in the organization. There had already been reports of Garrett saying goodbyes to his staff and telling those with expiring contracts to look for work elsewhere.

It was reported in November that the Giants were Garrett’s preferred landing spot if Pat Shurmur were fired. The Giants have jettisoned their coach, but already have an interview set up with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who is considered a frontrunner for the job along with Baylor coach Matt Rhule. The Redskins have already hired former Panters coach Ron Rivera, leaving Dallas well behind in any coaching search.

For Garrett, that may leave just the openings with the Browns and Panthers if he wants to coach next year.

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