IRVING, Texas -- Dallas named Jason Garrett its new head coach Thursday, officially beginning a new era for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys named Garrett the interim head coach after firing Wade Phillips following a 1-7 start to the season. Dallas went 5-3 under Garrett's guidance, with road wins against the Giants, Colts, and Eagles.
While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the season did not play out to anyone's satisfaction, it did give the team a chance to evaluate Garrett under pressure.
"He passed the test," Jones said. "He has my respect."
Garrett, 44, began his coaching career in 2005 with Miami. He was the Dolphins' quarterbacks coach for two years before becoming the Cowboys' offensive coordinator in 2007.
Dallas' offense was explosive that season, when the team ranked second in the NFL with 28.4 points per game. The output helped the Cowboys finish 13-3 and claim the NFC East title.
Garrett added the title of assistant head coach the next season.
In addition to coaching the Cowboys for the last four years, Garrett was a backup quarterback with the team from 1993-99. Jones called him "truly one of our own," and Garrett cited his playing years as a model for his approach to the job.
Dallas won two Super Bowl titles while Garrett was on the team, but has not returned to that stage despite lofty expectations.
Garrett has been charged with changing that, and it was no secret that he was very likely to stay on as head coach. According to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram report from earlier in the week, Jones had already decided Garrett accomplished enough to have the interim tag removed.
Jones said Thursday that Garrett fit the profile of the kind of coach he was looking for -- someone who has tremendous drive and energy, someone who can communicate effectively with players, someone who walked in the players' shoes, and someone who spends "every waking moment" figuring out how to improve the team.