Jason Garrett got emotional when talking about his dad, Jim, at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.
Jim Garrett passed away in February and Jason has received “a lot” of condolences from those throughout the industry this week. This is a place, after all, that his dad loved – a place where new talent is discovered.
“We’ve gone through the house and we’ve found some old notebooks. He was a very detailed notetaker when he was evaluating players and a lot of really recognizable names in these spiral notebooks and how he saw them when they were coming out of school,” Jason Garrett said. “He took it very seriously and he had an impact on me and my brothers about how we see football, how we see football players. It’s what we grew up with.
“He was a football coach who impacted lives, but again, as a personnel guy, it was very important to him about how you evaluate a player, how you give him an opportunity, how you believe in him and then hopefully you bring him to your football team and you build the team the right way.”
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Jason Garrett said the family celebrated Jim’s life last week. On hand were his father's eight children and their spouses, his wife and 28 grandchildren.
“Told a lot of great stories about him and wanted to keep his spirit alive,” Jason said.
Jim Garrett spent 17 years of his professional life as a scout for the Cowboys, including through the Super Bowl seasons of 1992, 1993 and 1995. He wrote the original scouting report on Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, the organization’s first-round pick (and first overall) in the 1989 draft.
Jason spoke about the influence his father had on his coaching life.
“That’s a really long answer,” Jason said. “It’s a really long answer in every way. As a coach, as a guy. Just the way he viewed life. The spirit, the example he and my mom have provided us throughout our lives.
“He had an amazing ability to believe in people. This idea of believing in people more than they believe in themselves, instilling that belief in them is how he lived his life. He certainly did that with me many times.”
Asked if that’s what his goal is as a coach, Jason said: “Absolutely. That’s line one.”