Wade Phillips, after 3 1/2 season as head coach, was replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett on an interim basis. Defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni was promoted to replace Phillips’ other role as defensive coordinator.
Jones entered the weekend not planning to make a move, but Sunday night’s 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers became the tipping point. It was the Cowboys’ fifth straight loss, dropping them to 1-7.
“The decision has been made to move forward with a new person in the head coaching position for the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said during a Monday press conference.
This is the first time Dallas Cowboys have changed coaches in the middle of a season. Garrett becomes the first former Cowboys player to take over the job previously held by the likes of Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells.
“Obviously this is a very difficult decision for me, the team and our organization. We are grateful to Wade and his contributions to the Cowboys, leading us to two division titles in his first three seasons with the club,” Jones said. “We also clearly understand we are not where we want to be at this time and that’s an understatement.”
This is the Cowboys’ worst season since 1989 and among the worst in franchise history by record alone. It could go down as the worst-ever considering Dallas was coming off a division title and a playoff win, and was expected to contend for the Super Bowl that’ll be held at Cowboys Stadium.
The 63-year-old Phillips leaves with a 34-22 record over 4 1/2 seasons guiding the Cowboys. He also was 1-2 in the postseason. Dallas won the NFC East twice on his watch.
Phillips released a statement thanking the fans and the Jones family “for all of the support” and thanked his coaches and players “for their loyalty and dedication.”
The first game under Garrett will be at the New York Giants on Sunday.