INDIANAPOLIS –As he makes his way through the NFL Combine, Jason Garrett receives kind words about his father, Jim, who passed away last month at the age of 87.
The scouting process is special to the Garrett family. Jim Garrett joined the Cowboys' scouting department in 1968 and spent 36 of the next 38 years as a coach or scout in the NFL. He wrote the original scouting report on the club's 1989 top pick, quarterback Troy Aikman, and was part of four Cowboys Super Bowl teams, including three championships in the 1990s with Aikman leading the huddle.
Those kind words mean a lot to Jason.
"We had a great celebration of my dad last week," he said. "My seven brothers and sisters and our spouses and my mom and 28 grandkids were all there. A lot of people whose lives he touched were a part of that. It was a great celebration. We wanted to make it that. Told a lot of great stories about him and we're going to keep his spirit alive.
"We've gone through the house and we've found some old (scouting) notebooks. He was a very detailed note-taker when he was evaluating players, and a lot of really recognizable names in these spiral notebooks and how he saw them when they were coming out of school. He took it very seriously and he had a big impact on me and my brothers about how we see football, how we see football players. It's what we grew up with."
From a coaching standpoint, Jason says his father taught him about "believing in people more than they believe in themselves, instilling that belief in them."
"He certainly did that with me many times," Jason said.