There are two young offensive play-callers on the Ravens' list of possible coaching candidates -- Josh McDaniels, who we wrote about yesterday, and Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.
There are a lot of similarities, at least superficially, between McDaniels and Garrett (at right with Terrell Owens). For one, they're both young, although at 41, Garrett is 10 years older than McDaniels. They're both the sons of football coaches -- in Garrett's case, his father was not only a coach but a longtime scout for the Cowboys. They both played quarterback at some point but while McDaniels switched to wide receiver in college, Garrett was talented enough to be a longtime backup quarterback in the NFL, primarily for the Cowboys during the Troy Aikman glory years. And, for the moment, they're both riding the coattails of star quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Tony Romo) of high-scoring, playoff-bound teams. And they both happened to grow up in Ohio.
Interestingly, while Garrett is older than McDaniels, McDaniels has coached a little longer.
Garrett is an Ivy League guy. He attended both Princeton and Columbia. He transferred to Columbia to be with his father when dad Jim coached there. He has two bothers, Judd and John, who are also NFL assistants. That "J" thing in the Garrett household is little odd but that's a level of analysis I'm not interested in exploring.
During his years with the Cowboys as Aikman's caddy, Garrett was pretty steady when he did play. He started a Thanksgiving Day game in 1994 and beat the Green Bay Packers. In a career during which he threw nearly 300 passes, he completed about 56 percent for more than 2,000 yards, 11 TDs and five interceptions. He also had playing stints with the Giants, Bucs and Dolphins, retiring in 2004.
So his coaching career really started only three years ago as the Dolphins' quarterbacks coach but he apparently so impressed Dallas owner Jerry Jones during his time with the Cowboys in the 1990s that Jones hired him just as Bill Parcells quit last January. And there was speculation that he'd get the head job in Dallas that eventually went to Wade Phillips.
As a result, Garrett may wind up being the toughest guy to hire because Jones -- whose organization already lost a front office executive Jeff Ireland to the Dolphins -- may compete for him. Plus, it's being reported that the Falcons want to interview Garrett so that's a complicating factor. Another Dallas coach, Tony Sparano, who's the Cowboys' assistant head coach, is also interviewing in Atlanta and his name has been linked to the Ravens' job as well as the possible opening in Miami -- but such is the nature of these things when a team is hot as the Cowboys are.
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