Longtime Cowboys scout Jim Garrett, father of Jason, dies


Sarah Rogers, Staffer

Longtime NFL scout Jim Garrett, the father of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, passed away at age 87. His wife, Jane, and his eight children were by his side when he passed. Garrett originally joined the Cowboys in 1968 as a scout and spent 36 years coaching or scouting in the NFL, including the last 17 as the Cowboys’ northeast area scout.

Garrett was an assistant coach with the Giants (1969-1973), Saints (1976-77) and Browns (1978-84). He was a part of four of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl teams, including three championships (1992, 1993, 1995). As a college scout for the club, he wrote the original scouting report on Troy Aikman, who was selected by Dallas with the first overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft.

“The cowboys were very blessed to have Jim to be apart of the team,” said student Audie Beth. “Jim served as a asset to the cowboys for a long time and successfully scouted many great talents.”

As an All-Conference fullback at Utah State, Garrett played for Philadelphia (1954), the British Colombia Lions (1955), N.Y. Giants (1956) and Ottawa RoughRiders (1957). Following his rookie season in the NFL, he went to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Jim was a true inspiration to the team and all,” said student Sean Collard. “He was a hard working man that continued to never give up. He was an inspiration to all as inspired many people.”

Garrett was nothing but a man of routine. In July 1980, just after he turned 50 while working as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns, he decided the best way to stay in shape would be to run every day. He did this religiously for more than 32 years until he suffered a stroke in September 2012. The stroke landed him in intensive care. It took months and stays in different hospitals, but Jim Garrett was back home by February. He worked hard to overcome slurred speech and was tireless in following the instructions of his doctors to regain some semblance of strength.

Garrett is survived by his wife and eight children, among them three who have worked in the Cowboys’ organization. His son Judd is the team’s director of pro scouting and his son John formerly worked alongside brother Jason from 2007-10 when the latter was both an offensive coordinator (2007-10) and head coach (2010-present).