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Returning to the team he once played for, Jason Garrett became the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants

By Arnie Leshin 
Maybe Jason Calvin Garrett deserved to be back with the New York Giants and playing in the Garden State.
And why not, he played his college ball at Princeton and Columbia, played for the Giants as the back-up quarterback to Phil Sims, and when he was fired after last season where he had been the Dallas Cowboys head coach for almost 10 years, he felt it was a no-brainer to return to the Giants as their offensive coordinator.
Now, when the Cowboys ride into New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to play the Giants in the Jan. 3rd final game of the regular season, and after the game, he will either be in the National Football League playoffs or not. Right now, he’s done a neat job in his present role, establishing a running game and designing plays for young and starting quarterback Daniel Jones.
“Well, that would be extra sweet,” he said in regard to gaining the playoffs as NFC division champions, “and this reflected on the decision I made to sign on with the Giants. Heck, I was out of a job in Dallas, and there were the rival Giants to keep me in the game.”
There had been talk of friction and turmoil with other aspects of the coaching staff, but Garrett shrugs this off.
“That’s just talk, just talk, and we are here to coach the Giants and get along, and we do,” he said.
He played in 40 NFL games. Before playing for the Giants, he started for Dallas 23 times and passed for 11 touchdowns. His overall stats show he threw the ball 294 and completed 165. Then, when he took of as its head coach, he posted 85 wins and 67 losses, and led the way to NFC East titles in 2014, 2016, 2018. This became newsworthy, with the media saying that the Cowboys only win in the even years.
“I remember that,” said Garrett, now 54, “and that’s just comical. In 2013, we finished a game out of first place, in 2015, we won our last four games and came in second, and in 2017, we were in the hunt until the final week, so that’s that.”
He said it’s great to be back in this area because he’s still familiar with it. He added that he can now head for New York City as well as making an occasional visit to Princeton.
“I had a wild and wooly college football career,” he said. “I began at Princeton, played their my freshmen year, and when my father took the head coaching job at Columbia, I transferred to play for him. But after he resigned when the team went 0-11, I and my brothers Jude and John, transferred with me back to Princeton. That would have been my sophomore season, but I was ruled an ineligible transfer.”
He started as a junior and senior. His junior year, he led the way to the win over Columbia that brought the Lions an Ivy League record of 35 consecutive losses. But in his senior year, the Tigers lost to Columbia to halt the Lions’ 44-game losing skein. As a freshman starter at Princeton, he made good on 64 of 116 throws for 996 yards and six touchdowns, two of which he ran in himself.
His senior season with the Tigers, Garrett was named the Asa S. Bushnell Award as Ivy League Player of the Year. After his final season with the Giants, he played as a back-up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins.
Asked if here was anything new about been back in New Jersey and New York, he answered, “Yeah, now I can sing ‘New York, New York’ again.”
In the college draft, Garrett was selected in the sixth round as the 870th pick by Dallas.
EXTRA POINTS: Ray Perkins, who passed away Thursday at the age of 79, coached for 40 years following an All-America career at Alabama as a wide receiver who caught anything thrown his way. That was from 1964-1968, and not long after began his reign as a coach, first as an assistant at Mississippi State, then as receivers coordinator with the New England Patriots, and as offensive coordinator for the then-San Diego Chargers. He went from there to being offensive coordinator of the then-Oakland Raiders, and the tight end and running backs coach for the Cleveland Browns.
He was named to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In his NFL career, he was an all-pro wide receiver for the then-Baltimore Colts from 1967-1971. From there, he again returned to coaching and became the New York Giants head coach in 1979, posting 23-34 record in his four years there, but in 1981, his team went 9-7 and made the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. As a NFL player, he was on two Super Bowl teams, and back with the Crimson Tide, he was 32-15-1 and made three bowl appearances. He also the Alabama athletic director for two years, and when named head coach, he took over from the legendary retiring Bill “Bear” Bryant. .

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