Comparing The Head Coaches JJ has hired

In the 33 seasons Jerry Jones has owned the Cowboys, he has hired 8 different head coaches. The combined regular season records of those 33 seasons is 285-240 (.542) and has qualified for the playoffs 16 of 33 seasons, with a 15-13 playoff record, and 3 SB titles. Amazingly, 12 of those 15 playoff wins were won from 1991-96. In the period of 1997-2022, the playoff record is 3-10.

Looking at the 8 HCs Jerry has hired, it’s clear: The first one he hired was the best. Jimmy Johnson won 7 of the 15 playoff games in the Jerry era, more than any other HC under Jerry, and that was in 5 years. Barry Switzer won 5 playoff games, but we all know, those wins were mostly with players Jimmy drafted and developed.

So let’s look closer at the 8 head coaches and how they have done:

  • Jimmy Johnson: 5 seasons, 2 SB titles, 44-36 reg season record, 7-1 playoff record, made playoffs 3/5 seasons as HC. HOF COACH.
  • Barry Switzer: 4 seasons, 1 SB title, 40-24 reg season record, 5-2 playoff record, made playoffs 3/4 seasons as HC.
  • Chan Gailey– 2 seasons, 18-14 reg season record, 0-2 playoff record, made playoffs 2/2 seasons.
  • Dave Campo– 3 seasons, 15-33 reg season record, never made the playoffs in 3 seasons.
  • Bill Parcells– 4 seasons, 34-30 reg season record, 0-2 in the playoffs, made playoffs in 2/4 seasons. (Parcells is a HOF Coach, but mostly based on time with other teams)
  • Wade Phillips– 3.5 seasons, 34-22 reg season record, 1-2 in playoffs, made playoffs in 2/3.5 seasons.
  • Jason Garrett- 9.5 seasons, 85-67 reg season record, 2-3 in playoffs, made playoffs 3/9.5 seasons.
  • Mike McCarthy– 2 seasons, 18-15 reg season record, 0-1 in l,ayoffs, made playoffs 1/2 seasons.


  • Jimmy was clearly the best HC Jerry ever hired. He won nearly half of the total playoff wins the team has had under Jerry.
  • Between Jimmy and Barry S, the Cowboys won 12 of the 15 playoff games the team has won under Jerry.
  • It still amazes me that Jason Garrett only made the playoffs 3 times in his 9.5 seasons here as HC. That’s terrible. What other NFL team would have kept a HC that long?
  • Of the 7 guys who are “former Cowboys HCs”, only Jimmy and Chan Gailey ever got another NFL head coaching gig. Parcells of course retired and so did Barry.
  • Being a HC under Jerry Jones has not been an attractive HC re-hire after leaving Dallas.

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