One much understand Jason Garrett's relationship with Scott Linehan to understand why who many would describe as a "trio of mediocrity" continue to coach the Dallas Cowboys.
It involves Nick Saban, the famed Alabama coach who could win another national championship Monday night.
Saban, so it is said, did not want to hire Jason Garrett many years ago.
Per the Dallas Morning News:
Back in 2005, Saban was assembling his staff with the Miami Dolphins. Linehan, the OC for Saban, made a request.
"He said, 'I really want to have a quarterbacks coach,' Saban recalled. "I don't want to have to coach the quarterbacks and be the coordinator, too. I said, 'OK, that's fine. I am all-in on that.' So we interviewed like 10 quarterback coaches. Lots of them had lots of NFL experience and were very qualified guys and everybody kept saying, 'You got to interview Jason Garrett, you got to interview Jason Garrett.' He hadn't even coached. He had just got finished playing.
"So I didn't really want to do it. I fought it. But finally we were at the Senior Bowl and Jason happened to be there and I said, 'OK, I'll talk to the guy now. ' So I talked to Jason Garrett for about five minutes and I knew that this is the right guy to be with. I couldn't believe the level of intelligence, the level of understanding that he had of what it took to develop a quarterback, the fundamental understanding that he had from the good coaches I guess he had as a player and being a bright guy. He took all those things with him and he did a really, really good job for us."
On staff with Garrett at the time was Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who is also Alabama's outgoing defensive coordinator. Back then, Smart supervised the safeties and played pickup basketball with Garrett.
"He's a hell of a competitor,'" Smart said. "He's got the best stop jump shot I have ever seen. He's hard to defend. Tall. Athletic."
And what else?
"Intelligent," he said. "Super intelligent. Very organized."
"He's got a great relationship with the players," Smart added. "He explains things. He's very thorough. He's very serious and organized. He's a witty guy that's fun to be around. Players like him because they respect him."
Clearly, so does Saban.
"I think he is really, really an outstanding person, "Saban said, "and really, really good coach."