Coaching Arcs: Jason Garrett

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Nabbing a football coaching job is the goal of many sports-minded folks, but becoming one of the 32 NFL head coaches is a whole other story. Those who attain one of the highest football coaching positions in the world have to work very hard to climb the ladder and often start out as football players.

Jason Garrett, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, knows this tale all too well. He played his way through college up to the pros before his coaching career took off. Let’s trace the path to his head coaching job in the NFL.

Early Days

Jason Garrett was born in Pennsylvania, and entered high school with football in his blood. His father, Jim, was a seasoned NFL coach and scout. Jason played college ball at Princeton and majored in history. He was then named Ivy League’s Player of the Year his senior year. After college, Garrett joined the developmental squad for the Saints as an undrafted rookie.

Garrett eventually found his way to the Dallas Cowboys, where he played for seven seasons, primarily in a backup role behind Hall of Famer Troy Aikman. His final year in the pros took place in New York, where he backed up Kerry Collins during the Giants’ Super Bowl run in the  2000 season.

Beginning of Coaching Career

Timeline of Jason Garrett's coaching career.


Garrett’s coaching career got its start in 2005 when he joined the Miami Dolphins as the quarterbacks coach. He spent two years in this role before the Dallas Cowboys hired him as their offensive coordinator in 2007 and remained in that role (in addition to being the assistant head coach) until midway through the 2010 season. That’s when head coach Wade Phillips was fired, and Garrett was named interim in his stead.


The Cowboys got off to a miserable start in 2010, clocking only one win over eight games, but Garrett showed massive promise when his first half-season of effort netted a respectable 5-3 record. Before the 2011 season, Garrett retained his job as the Cowboys head coach. While the next three seasons ended with a tie record (8-8), Garrett led the team to the postseason in 2014.

Jason Garrett is manning the helm of a resurgent Dallas Cowboys team that has dominated opponents nearly all season long and has clinched a playoff berth behind rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. What will the postseason bring? It will be a wild ride as we find out.

While you’re following the rest of the Cowboys’ journey into the postseason and beyond, make sure you’re decked out in awesome swag from




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