Ten years after leaving Princeton for a winding professional football career, Jason Garrett '89 is on his way back to New Jersey as a backup quarterback for the New York Giants. After spending seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, the free agent Garrett signed a contract with the Giants Tuesday.
Playing as the No. 2 man behind Troy Aikman for the last three years, Garrett established himself as one of the most capable backup quarterbacks in the National Football League. With the Cowboys, Garrett was 6-3 in his nine starts.
Last season, Garrett made five appearances on the field for Dallas while going 1-1 as a starter. The former Tiger signal-caller threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns on 32 completions during the Cowboys' 1999 campaign.
In place of an injured Aikman in 1998, Garrett saw the most action of his professional career. He passed for 1,206 yards and five touchdowns as Dallas went 3-2 with Garrett at the offensive helm.
While at Princeton, the Garrett-led Tigers never won an Ivy League championship, but the star quarterback staked an impressive place for himself in the football team's record books individually. In just two seasons as a starter, Garrett amassed 4,555 yards of total offense, the second-most of any player in Princeton history. In his 550 career passes, he threw just 10 interceptions — a Division I-AA record.
As a senior, the honorable mention All-America selection led the Tigers to a third place Ivy finish in only Steve Tosches' second season as head coach. Garrett was named the Ivy League Player of the Year during his final season and was awarded the Bushnell Cup.
Undrafted following graduation, Garrett joined the New Orleans Saints' developmental roster before coming to Princeton in 1990 for a one year stint as an assistant coach for the Tigers.
After playing briefly for the San Antonio Riders of the World League and the Canadian Football League's RoughRiders, Garrett worked his way up through the Cowboys' program.
The Associated Press reported that Garrett's contract is worth $2.94 million over three years, including a $250,000 signing bonus.