In sports, certain rivalries are lines that you don’t cross. Few Boston Red Sox, for example, move south to join the New York Yankees. In the NFL, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys historically don’t see eye to eye. Jason Garrett, however, could be crossing the divide.
After losing his head coaching job in Dallas, Garrett is looking for work. Could he really head to the Big Apple and start calling plays for the Giants?
Jason Garrett’s coaching career
Like many NFL coaches, Jason Garrett’s football began as a player. He suited up for NCAA action at Princeton and Columbia before trying to go pro. He went undrafted, however, and couldn’t secure a spot on an NFL roster; after brief spells in the World League of American Football and the Canadian Football League, he got a chance with the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.
Garrett’s playing career ended after the 2004 season, but he wasn’t done with professional football. He promptly joined Nick Saban’s Miami Dolphins as a quarterbacks coach; one year later, he returned to Dallas as the offensive coordinator. Garrett quickly earned a promotion, adding assistant head coach to his title. In November 2010, he took interim charge of the club after Wade Phillips’ firing. At the end of the season, Garrett was rewarded with the full head coaching gig.
Things didn’t get any easier, though. During Garrett’s tenure as head coach, the Dallas Cowboys went 85-67; even their best regular seasons ended with playoff failure. For all of their talent, the club could never get over the hump. As the main man on the sidelines, Jason Garrett got the blame.
Moving from Big D to the Big Apple?
While it took longer than anyone anticipated, Jerry Jones finally decided to let Jason Garrett leave at the end of his contract. That means the former Cowboys coach is currently looking for a job; that search might come to an end with a divisional rival.
Earlier in the offseason, the New York Giants reportedly considered Garrett as one of their head coaching candidates. They hired Joe Judge, however, before Garrett could come in for his interview. The two parties could still come to an agreement, though.
On Wednesday, Garrett interviewed for the club’s offensive coordinator role. While that would mean moving from one divisional rival to another, New York wouldn’t be concerned.
“I certainly wouldn’t have any objection to [hiring Garrett],” co-owner John Mara explained. “I have a lot of respect for Jason. At the end of the day, that’s going to be [Joe Judge’s] decision.”
Would Jason Garrett fit with the New York Giants?
While Jason Garrett wasn’t a fan favorite in Dallas, he does have a few traits that would make him a fit for the New York Giants.
First off, Garrett is an experienced head coach. While Joe Judge certainly learned a great deal working under Bill Belichick, running a team is different than serving as special teams coordinator; Garrett would provide a steady perspective when the team inevitably hits a bump in the road.
Secondly, Garrett’s experience seems to align with the Giants’ offensive aims. New York has a talented running back in Saquon Barkley and a talented young quarterback in Daniel Jones. During his time in Dallas, Garrett helped develop Tony Romo and Dak Prescott; he also wants to establish a strong running game, which should be music to Barkley’s ears.
Jason Garret isn’t a perfect candidate—it’s been a while since he has actually called plays, and there are questions ability to move beyond his primary gameplan—but it’s possible that serving as coordinator, rather than head coach, will minimize his flaws. At least that’s what the New York Giants will hope, assuming he gets the job.