Tampa Bay wield axe
The Buccaneers fire head coach and general manager after end of season fade out.
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2009 14:22 GMT

Jon Gruden is shown the door by the Buccaneers [GALLO/GETTY]
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they have parted company with both head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen.

"We will be forever grateful to Jon for bringing us the Super Bowl title, and we thank Bruce for his contributions to our franchise," Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said via a statement.

"However, after careful consideration, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our organisation moving forward."

"After a lot of discussions and decision-making, we just felt, for this franchise, where we've been, where we are and where we want to go, it was time for a change," Glazer told local television station Bay News 9.

"It's not one or two things. It's the overall situation."

The Bucs lost their last four games after a 9-3 start this season to fall out of the playoffs.

Gruden, 45, compiled a 60-57 record in seven seasons with the Buccaneers, including a 3-2 record in the playoffs.

At 39 years of age, he became the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl when he steered Tampa Bay to a 48-21 win over the Oakland Raiders after the 2002 season in Super Bowl XXXVII, his first campaign with the team.

Cowboys fire Stewart

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys have fired defensive coordinator Brian Stewart after two seasons in the job.

Stewart joined the Cowboys from the San Diego Chargers, following head coach Wade Phillips in the move to Dallas from the West.

After starting the season as one of the favourites to make the Super Bowl, the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention with a 44-6 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.

For the third time in four seasons, Dallas finished with a win-loss record of 9-7.

Although Phillips was retained as coach by team owner Jerry Jones, the Cowboys replaced special teams coach Bruce Read with Joe DeCamillis.

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