Jim Garrett, 87, father of Cowboys' coach, dies

Jim Garrett, a longtime scout and NFL assistant coach and the father of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, has died, the Cowboys said Friday.

Garrett was 87.

From 1987 to 2004, Jim Garrett was a scout for the Cowboys, working with coaches Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and Bill Parcells. He championed Randy Moss during the draft process in 1998, only to see the Cowboys pass on the future Hall of Fame receiver because of character concerns.

Since 2012, Jim Garrett battled the effects of a stroke. Before the stroke, he ran every day for more than 30 years, a sign of perseverance that many around the NFL marveled at for years and his sons used as motivation.

Jim Garrett entered the NFL as an assistant coach with the New York Giants in 1970. He spent two years with the New Orleans Saints (1976-77) and had a seven-year run with the Cleveland Browns as running backs coach. In 1974, he was the head coach of the Houston Texans of the World Football League. He also served as head coach at Coast Guard, Lehigh, Susquehanna and Columbia.

His sons, Jim, John, Jason and Judd, became coaches at different levels.

At one point, John, Jason and Judd were all working in the Cowboys’ organization as a coach or scout. Jason is entering his eighth full season as the Cowboys’ head coach. John, who coached tight ends with the Cowboys, is entering his second season as head coach at Lafayette. Judd is an advance scout with the Cowboys.

Jim Garrett is survived by his wife, Jane, his eight children — Jim, Jane, Jennifer, Janine, Jill, John, Jason and Judd — 28 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

“He’s the most enthusiastic, inspirational person I know,” Jason Garrett said in 2014 before his first playoff game. “There’s nobody even close, and just his spirit and the way he goes about his life, the example he set for me, for my brothers and sisters, and really for everybody around him is really, really special.”

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