Every Cowboys head coach ever: Full list

The Cowboys have been relatively stable.
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys have had some good fortunes in the last few decades, as there have been very few moments where the team has been mired in perennial losing or head coaching instability. Even if they don't win a title, Dallas is routinely in the hunt.

With Tom Landry being the head coach for 29 consecutive seasons, Dallas made themselves into the league's most iconic franchise. Just a handful of men have been able to succeed Landry, Dallas' head coaching club remains one of the most elusive in all of sports to gain entry too.

While Landry ushered in the best era of Cowboys football, and his successor managed to replicate his championship success, there were a handful of ill-fated hires that sent Dallas into a spiral that took years to recover from.

Every Dallas Cowboys head coach ever

Tom Landry, 1960-1988: 250 wins

The history of the Cowboys begins with Landry, who will never see his team coaching wins record surpassed. After struggling at the beginning of the franchise's existence, Landry would transform his squad into "America's Team" on the back of an unprecedented period of winning of consistency

Landry, who appeared in five Super Bowls and won two with Dallas, missed the playoffs only one time between 1966 and 1983. The tail end of his tenure ended in an awkward way, but Landry remains the most iconic figure in franchise history for a reason. There will never be another quite like him.

Jimmy Johnson, 1989-93: 44 wins

Friction with former college teammate and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones cut his time in Dallas short after five seasons. In those five seasons, however, Johnson built a dynasty that contains some of the most iconic players and teams the league has ever seen.

Taking the team from a 1-15 black hole of talent in 1989 to a champion in just four seasons, Johnson helped build a defense loaded with Hall of Famers alongside the iconic "Triplets" of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. Johnson was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020, which was well overdue.

Barry Switzer, 1994-97: 40 wins

The first two years of Switzer and the last two years could not have been more different. Switzer was able to win a Super Bowl in 1995, making it three in four years. Soon, however, the former Oklahoma coach found himself mired in controversy and losing despite an elite team around him.

A divisional loss to the Panthers, then in their second year of existence, ended 1996 on a sour note before a 6-10 campaign led to his firing. Friction with Aikman and an inability to break through with some of the most talented rosters in the league made Switzer a somewhat cursed name in Dallas.

Chan Gailey, 1998-1999: 18 wins

Gailey's 18-14 record in two years as a coach may not look too bad, especially coming off a 1997 horror show. However, the mystique of those Cowboys teams of the1990s were gone, and Gailey's fairly basic offenses were unable to elevate a team that still had plenty of holdovers from the glory days.

Dave Campo, 2000-2002: 15 wins

Campo built up a ton of good will as defensive backs coach under Johnson and defensive coordinator under Switzer. He ruined it with three terrible 5-11 seasons in a row, becoming the only coach in Cowboys history to finish with a losing record. The Quincy Carter era was brutal to watch.

Bill Parcells, 2003-2006: 34 wins

Parcells is one of the greatest coaches ever, but he is often criticized for not winning a playoff game in four seasons with the Cowboys. However, he had four primary starting quarterbacks in four years with Dallas, two of which were the aforementioned Carter and 41-year-old post-injury Vinny Testaverde.

Parcells reeled off three winning seasons out of four despite subpar overall rosters and inconsistency at quarterback. Getting Testaverde or Drew Bledsoe in their prime may have helped his tenure in Dallas go differently.

Wade Phillips, 2007-2010: 34 wins

Some coaches are amazing coordinators and poor head coach, and Phillips falls into that category. Hired after ill-fated stints in Denver and Buffalo, Phillips started strong with a 13-3 debut season. After two more winning season, a 1-7 start in 2010 prompted his firing. He found work as a defensive coordinator for years after, as his acumen on that side was never questioned.

Jason Garrett, 2010-2019: 85 wins

Garrett was one of the most frustrating watches for any coach in recent NFL history. His teams were good enough to make the playoffs and steamroll opponents with strong offenses in the regular season, but they always seemed to run out of gas near the end of the season and in the playoffs.

Garrett only had one losing season in Dallas (2015, when Tony Romo got hurt), but he has just two playoff wins to his name by a combined six points. Garrett can raise a team's floor, but he was unable to break through for a championship. He is currently in broadcasting, away from coaching.

Mike McCarthy, 2020-: 42 wins

The McCarthy era hasn't gone according to plan, as the same pattern of winning in the regular season and fizzling in the playoffs seems to be repeating itself. Hopefully, a new year will be the change the team needs.

Every Dallas Cowboys head coach ranked by playoff wins:


Years with Cowboys

Playoff Wins

Tom Landry



Jimmy Johnson



Barry Switzer



Jason Garrett



Wade Phillips



Mike McCarthy



Chan Gailey



Dave Campo



Bill Parcells