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.
That profile would eliminate NFL coordinators with little or no head-coaching experience and any of the much-speculated college coaches, such as Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley, Baylor's Matt Rhule and Florida's Dan Mullen.
The Cowboys released a statement Sunday afternoon announcing that Garrett will not be offered an extension on his contract that expires Jan. 14. 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.
A team source did confirm the Cowboys had a recent telephone conversation with former NFL coach Jeff Fisher, who took the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV and whose regular-season record is 173-165-1, with a 5-6 playoff record. Fisher is highly regarded by Jones and team vice president Stephen Jones, but Fisher's three-year hiatus since being fired by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016 was a detriment to scheduling a formal interview.
McCarthy coached for 13 seasons with the Packers before he was fired in 2018. His career regular-season record is 125-77-2 with a 10-8 record in the playoffs, including a victory in Super Bowl XLV, played in February 2011 at the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.
Lewis was coach of the Bengals for 16 seasons and has a career record of 131-122-3, but was 0-7 in the playoffs. His stock as a head coach took a hit with the winless playoff record, but the Bengals went 2-14 in 2019 after parting ways with Lewis.
Lewis also was the defensive coordinator for the 2000 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Neither Jerry nor Stephen Jones has spoken publicly about the candidates they have interviewed.