IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys will begin the process of naming a head coach for 2011 starting on Tuesday, but on Monday Jason Garrett sounded firmly in charge.
Cowboys wide receivers coach Ray Sherman will interview for the head coaching job on Tuesday, a source told ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins on Monday.
This will be the first interview for owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who has said that he plans on finishing the process quickly. Multiple sources have told ESPNDallas.com that interim coach Garrett is the leading candidate for the job.
Garrett was evasive regarding his feelings about whether or not he'll become the next Cowboys coach. He did say he will attend the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., which is standard for NFL coaches and he's held some discussions with Jones about the position.
"I was in conversations with him as a head coach that I wasn't in when I was an offensive coordinator and a player," Garrett said during his end of season news conference on Monday. "There are just certain subjects that you get into when you're in this position." Garrett didn't seem overly concerned with Sherman interviewing for the position on Tuesday.
"It's part of the process," Garrett said of Sherman's interview.
League rules require Jones to interview a minority candidate, and both Sherman and Moss are black. At the recent NFL owners meetings in Fort Worth, commissioner Roger Goodell made it known to the owners to take the Rooney Rules seriously.
Jones wants to start the hiring process quickly so the organization can move forward on potential changes with the roster and which assistant coaches will be retained.
Earlier Monday, Jones and Garrett sent the Cowboys into the offseason by encouraging them to watch the playoffs and feel the frustration of not being a part of it.
Linebacker Bradie James said he considers the fact Garrett spoke to the group an indication that the interim coach will become the head coach.
Garrett went 5-3 in charge of a club that had been 1-7. His three losses were by a combined seven points.
"He won me over," James said Monday.
But Garrett could also be in the market for a new job. Garrett interviewed with Detroit, Denver, St. Louis, Atlanta and Baltimore when those organizations had vacancies.
Currently, Cleveland, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Carolina and Denver have openings and Garrett didn't rule out a possible interview.
Asked if he thought others teams might come after him, Garrett said, "I have no idea."
And when asked if he would be interested in talking to other teams if they contacted him, Garrett said, "We'll just let that whole situation unfold."
Whoever is in charge, there are likely to be plenty of changes following a season that began with expectations of playing in the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.
Following Sunday's 14-13 win, a lot of players expressed their support for Garrett.
Said tight end Jason Witten: "Obviously a lot of us in this room are pulling for him, but at the same time I know I've played for this organization long enough to know [Jones] looks at himself first and he's going to exhaust himself and make sure he has the right guy. I respect the process, but Jason's done a great job."
Stephen McGee's opinion doesn't carry the weight of an established veteran, but nobody gave Garrett a stronger endorsement than the third-string quarterback.
"I've never seen somebody jump on an opportunity like he did," McGee said. "From the first moment, he came in that team meeting and he made everybody a believer. There was never a doubt. He never flinched.
"Talk about a guy making the most out of an opportunity. He certainly did that. He stepped up to the challenge. He had a plan, and I think everybody in the organization respects that from him.
"He's going to be a head coach in the league. Hopefully, it's in Dallas. If it's not, it'll be somewhere, I guarantee you."
Jones said Sunday he hopes to make a decision by the end of the week. Sources told ESPN's senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that a decision could come within 48 hours of Sherman's interview.
Garrett and the rest of the coaching staff conducted exit interviews with players.
Players have a series of meetings before they are cleared to leave. They have to meet with the athletic training staff to go over any injuries that may need surgery. They have to meet with their position coaches.
And finally, they just say goodbye.
It is a weird scene inside the locker room with players making travel plans, getting phone numbers and packing up their lockers. Most players carried giant trash bags filled with cleats, tennis shoes and workout gear to their cars.
"This is a tough day," Witten said. "Really since May-June you've been going to work to give yourself a chance to play in January and when that comes to an end it's tough. There will be some guys in this room that will not be back. That's hard because there's not too many bonds like this in a locker room where you sacrifice so much together.
"It's the first time you can sit back and look at all that's happened. Obviously there's some regret and some plays you'd like to have back. It's tough because you know you let an opportunity go. You don't get those opportunities back."
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Information from ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer and Tim MacMahon and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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