Jason Calvin Garrett (born March 28, 1966 in Abington, Pennsylvania) is an American football coach and former quarterback. He is the interim head coach and offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Garrett was named interim after a highly publicized firing of then-current Cowboys coach Wade Phillips.
High school career
Garrett went to prep school at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio, and was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, as a senior, he won All-League honors as both a quarterback and safety. Jason Garrett graduated from University School in 1984.
Garrett attended grade school at Saint Ann's which is located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Garrett originally played college football at Princeton University, but transferred to Columbia University when his father, Jim Garrett, became the head coach. Following his father's resignation as head coach after Columbia's 0-10 1985 season, Jason and his brothers, John and Judd, transferred back to Princeton University. At Princeton in 1987 and 1988, Garrett completed 366 of 550 passes (66.5%) for 4,274 yards and 20 touchdowns and won the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Player of the Year. In 1988 he piloted Princeton in a losing effort against his former team, snapping Columbia's 44-game losing streak. He earned a degree in history in 1989. He continues to hold the Ivy League career record for completion percentage with 66.5% (336–550) and his 1988 percentage of 68.2% (204–299) stood as the league record until 2000, when Gavin Hoffman posted a 70.5% mark.
He signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 1989 and 1990. In 1991 Garrett started at quarterback for the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football, but suffered a separated shoulder in the season opener. He rebounded the following year to lead San Antonio to a 7-3 record. In 1992, Garrett also played for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. In 1993, Garrett went to the Dallas Cowboys, where he was a backup to Troy Aikman on the 1993 and 1995 Super Bowl winning teams. In eight seasons with the Cowboys, Garrett played in 39 games and completed 165 of 294 passes (56.1%) for 2,042 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. The highlight of his career with the Cowboys occurred on Thanksgiving Day, 1994, when Garrett, starting in place of an injured Aikman, led the Cowboys over the Green Bay Packers by completing 15 of 26 passes for 311 yards and 2 touchdowns in a second-half comeback. In 2008, the game was named the fourth-best moment in the history of Texas Stadium by ESPN. In 2000, he went to the New York Giants, where he appeared sparingly as the backup to Kerry Collins from 2000–2003. In 2004, after a short stint as a backup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he went to the Miami Dolphins.
After retiring as a player, he became the quarterback coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2005–2006 and then, in January 2007, he was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as offensive coordinator. His influence made the Cowboys the 2nd best offense in the NFL making him an attractive head coaching prospect. Though he interviewed for a head coaching job with the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons and received offers from both, Garrett ultimately opted to remain in Dallas. His salary in the 2008 season will be close to $3 million and will be the highest paid assistant coach in the NFL. With Garrett staying, some expect him to succeed Wade Phillips as the head coach of the Cowboys, though there is nothing within his contract to suggest this. On December 29, 2008 the Detroit Lions received permission to speak to Garrett regarding the teams head coaching vacancy according to ESPN sources. The Denver Broncos interviewed him in January 2009 as a possible replacement for recently fired coach Mike Shanahan. He was also a finalist for the St. Louis Rams head coaching position, to replace Jim Haslett, the interim head coach. Ultimately, he lost the job to Steve Spagnuolo after appearing a lock to become their next head coach. On November 8, 2010, he was named as the Dallas Cowboys' interim head coach following the firing of Wade Phillips.
Jason's brothers, John and Judd, also played in the WLAF, and Judd made second-team All-World League in 1991 after leading the league in catches. John is currently tight-ends coach for the Dallas Cowboys, and his younger brother, Judd, works in the Dallas Cowboys front office after being let go as tight ends coach for the St. Louis Rams. Since he played for the London Monarchs, Judd is the only one of the Garretts who played in the WLAF to have a World Bowl ring. Another brother, Jim Garrett III, is an English teacher and former football coach at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio.
His father, Jim Garrett, was an assistant coach for the New York Giants (1970–1973), New Orleans Saints (1976–77), and Cleveland Browns (1978–84); head coach of the Houston Texans of the fledgling WFL (1974); and head football coach at Columbia University (1985). From 1987-2004, he served as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys.