How big of a star was Jason Garrett ’89 in his Princeton days? Well, big enough to land on the cover of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Garrett, officially named head coach of the Dallas Cowboys Jan. 6, was a focal point of “A Season in Seven Days,” which offered an in-depth look at the week leading up to the Princeton-Yale game in his senior year.
Led by Garrett’s sharp passing, the Tigers beat the Elis in New Haven for the first time in more than two decades. Garrett won the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League’s most valuable player, but Princeton fell short of an Ivy title. A year later, brother Judd Garrett ’90, a star running back, would lead the Tigers to a championship.
Below, read more about Jason Garrett and his teammates from the 1988 team.
From PAW, Dec. 7, 1988
A Season in Seven Days
By David Williamson ’84
Sunday, November 6
FOR A FEW anxious moments late one recent Saturday afternoon, Princeton’s head football coach, Steve Tosches, saw his worst nightmare come true. His Tigers had a three-touchdown lead over Colgate when Princeton’s star quarterback, Jason Garrett ’89, scrambled around left end on a broken play. In similar straits in the first quarter, Garrett had slipped over to the left sideline and scampered for a sixty-one-yard gain. This time, he turned upfield and was promptly hammered by the Colgate safety. Garrett crumpled to the ground and didn’t get up.
On the Princeton bench, the players and coaches fell silent. Garrett was the team captain and had been the quarterback on every offensive down during the season, so the Tigers would miss him badly if he were seriously injured. Finally, Jason staggered to his feet, weaving like a punch-drunk boxer. The field judge called over to Tosches: “Hey coach, you gotta get him out of here. He got his bell rung pretty good.”
By the time Garrett reached the bench, he was insisting that he was fine, even if he was still a little woozy. “It was a stupid play on my part,” he said later. “I should have slid under the tackle.” Brian Barren ’89, the backup quarterback, replaced Garrett, and the Princeton offense promptly scored on its next drive to push its lead to four touchdowns.