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John Garrett returned to the NFL in February of 2007 after a three-year collegiate coaching stint at the University of Virginia under head coach Al Groh. While helping to continue the dramatic production of perennial Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten in Dallas, Garrett also nurtured the depth and talent at the Cowboys tight end position in third-year man Martellus Bennett. In addition to coaching tight ends in 2011, Garrett will also serve as the passing game coordinator.
In 2010, Witten continued to set the bar for the tight ends as he led the team for the fourth straight season with 94 catches - tied for third in team history. He also finished with his third career - second consecutive - 1,000-yard season (1,002). Witten has now topped 60 catches in seven straight seasons - the second tight end in league history to accomplish the feat. Witten has also topped 80 receptions in three consecutive seasons - the second league tight end to do that as well. His five cumulative seasons with 80+ catches tie the second-most 80+ catch seasons by a league tight end. Witten's three 90-catch seasons are the second-most by a tight end in league history and he is just one-of-two with back-to-back 90-catch seasons. Witten also earned his seventh straight trip to the Pro Bowl. Bennett set a single-season career-high with 33 receptions in 2010 to go along with 260 yards. John Phillips' season was cut short as he suffered a torn ACL in the first preseason game and spent the year rehabbing. The combination of Witten and Bennett boasted the league's highest production among a tight end duo as they combined for 127 catches and 1,262 yards.
Garrett's group of tight ends in 2009 was led once again by Witten, who finished with a team-best 94 catches (third in team history) while topping 1,000 yards for the second time in his career (1,030). Witten also earned his sixth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl - the most trips by a tight end in franchise history. Bennett contributed 15 catches for 159 yards while the rookie Phillips saw most of time as a blocker, finishing with seven catches for 62 yards. Phillips did catch his first career touchdown pass on a one-yard dump in the Wild Card Playoff Game against Philadelphia (1/9/10).
Garrett's continued work with Witten in 2008 allowed the tight end to again lead the team in receptions (81) and finish second in yards (952). While celebrating yet another productive season, Witten earned his fifth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl to tie Jay Novacek for the most trips to the game by a Dallas tight end. Garrett was also charged with working Dallas' second round draft pick Bennett into the mix, and he showed flashes of his potential as a pass catcher, finishing with 20 catches for 283 yards and four touchdowns. Bennett had a streak of three consecutive games with a receiving score to become just the third rookie in club history to have a touchdown catch in three consecutive games, joining Bob Hayes (twice in 1965) and Antonio Bryant (2002).
The trio of Witten, Anthony Fasano and Tony Curtis formed one of the most solid position groups on the Dallas roster in 2007 with each player making key individual contributions through the course of the season. While earning a trip to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl in 2007, Witten finished the year second among all NFL tight ends (first in the NFC) in both receptions (96) and receiving yardage (1,145). Both totals represented club season records for a Dallas tight end, and his reception total was the second-highest by any Dallas player, at any position, in team history. Among players at all positions in 2007, Witten was 10th in the NFL in receptions and seventh in receiving yardage. The 2007 season marked Witten's first career 1,000-yard receiving year and the first ever by a Dallas tight end. His career-high 15 receptions at Detroit also established a club record for catches in a game - while tying Kellen Winslow's NFL single game mark for tight ends.
Fasano continued his development as a formidable blocker in the running game and a solid compliment to Witten in the two-tight end set. Curtis also carved out a productive role in the short yardage offense and registered three receptions on the year - all of which resulted in Dallas touchdowns.
Garrett served as the Virginia wide receivers coach in all three of his seasons with the Cavaliers, and in 2006, he was handed the additional responsibilities of being Groh's assistant head coach. Prior to entering the collegiate ranks in 2004, Garrett had spent the previous 12 years in professional football, working both on the coaching and player personnel sides for three different NFL clubs.
In 2003 he was a scout for the Cincinnati Bengals after spending the previous two seasons (2001-2002) as a Bengals offensive assistant coach, working mostly with the tight ends.
In 1999 and 2000, Garrett was the quarterbacks coach in Arizona and was charged with guiding the development of Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer. Plummer passed for over 5,000 yards in his two years under Garrett, and by the end of the 2000 season, he became the fastest Cardinal quarterback to reach the 10,000 career passing yard milestone in club history.
Garrett's first tour of duty in Cincinnati was spent exclusively as a member of the Bengals coaching staff from 1995 to 1998. He was the club's wide receivers coach in 1996 and was an offensive assistant who worked regularly with the receivers during the other three seasons.
Garrett's post-playing football career began as a pro personnel assistant for Sam Wyche's Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1992 to 1994. In addition to his personnel duties with the Bucs, Garrett prepared for his coaching career by providing on-field coaching assistance with the receivers during the week while assisting the defensive staff on game days.
After an outstanding Ivy League career as a wide receiver at both Columbia and Princeton, Garrett earned a degree in history from Princeton in 1988. He spent time in the Dallas Cowboys training camp in 1988, before earning a roster spot with the Bengals in 1989. He spent seven weeks on the Buffalo Bills practice squad (1991) after becoming one of the leading receivers for the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football the previous spring.
Garrett is a product of a football family that has enjoyed a long association with the National Football League. His father, Jim, spent 38 years as both a scout or assistant coach in the NFL, and 21 of those years were as a member of the Dallas Cowboys scouting staff. Garrett's brother Jason enjoyed a 12-year career as a back-up quarterback in the NFL including the 1993-99 seasons with the Cowboys and is now the head coach for the Dallas Cowboys. His brother Judd was a practice squad player for the Cowboys 1993 Super Bowl Championship club, and is the Cowboys director of pro scouting.
Born on March 2, 1965, in Danville, Pa, Garrett graduated from the University School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1983. He and his wife Honor have four children - son John Morgan and daughters Honor, Olivia and Caroline.