The Cowboys are upset by the New York Giants, 21-17, in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. That allows the Ravens to pursue the Cowboys' Garrett (below, center).
After spending most of the day in end-of-the-season meetings in Dallas, Garrett flies to Baltimore for a second interview. Garrett and his wife, Brill, have dinner with the Bisciotti family and members of the organization.
The Ravens aggressively try to hire Garrett, meeting with him for seven hours at team headquarters. While team officials met with Garrett, his wife was given a tour of the facility by Cass and then was driven around to see the area. But Garrett left for a second interview with the Atlanta Falcons. "I'm going to continue through this process that I'm in right now," Garrett says. "At some point, we'll make some decisions on both sides."
Garrett leaves Atlanta and heads back to Dallas, where he has a late-night meeting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. A league source says Garrett has narrowed his job choices to taking the Ravens' head coaching post or remaining the offensive coordinator of the Cowboys.
Garrett turns down the Ravens' offer and decides to stay as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator. He reportedly will receive a new contract - possibly worth more than Dallas head coach Wade Phillips' deal for $3 million a season - and the title of assistant head coach. The Ravens spend more than two hours re-evaluating their search. "We did negotiate with Jason Garrett to become our head coach," the Ravens say in a news release. "In the end, he decided to stay in Dallas. We're continuing our second round of interviews."
Harbaugh arrives for his second interview at 9 a.m. About 8 1/2 hours later, he accepts the Ravens' offer and becomes the third coach in the team's history. At 45, he is the ninth-youngest coach in the NFL. "I don't think age has anything to do with being a head coach or coordinator," tight end Todd Heap says. "It's that innate ability to rally guys and make them believe in your coaching ability."