This is the Super Bowl of all things Harbaugh where the media delves into what drives John and Jim, uncovers how childhood fights were broken up — their father would lovingly cradle each son's head then clunk them together — and speculates who scored the top bunk. Never before have two brothers met to determine the Super Bowl champion. It's a fascinating tale, one that unfolds now only because Jason Garrett decided to remain with the Cowboys. John Harbaugh has been wildly successful in his five years in Baltimore. But the reality lost in this soaring narrative of two brothers coaching against each other for the ultimate prize is that John was not the Ravens' first choice. Rex Ryan was on the Baltimore staff as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator when owner Steve Bisciotti decided a coaching change was needed at the end of the 2007 season. Ryan was well liked and had support in the building. But there was a sense that the Ravens needed an offensive mind to jump-start that side of the ball. Garrett was coming off his first, and what remains his most successful, season as the Cowboys offensive coordinator. He quickly became the leading candidate and was flown to Baltimore to meet with Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome. The Ravens didn't want Garrett to leave the building without becoming their next head coach. The two sides entered into negotiations. Garrett refuses to this day to divulge any details of those discussions. But he knew he would one day become the head coach of the Cowboys. His relationship with owner Jerry Jones was strong. Did he turn Baltimore down? No. But that's a technicality. The only reason the job wasn't offered is because the Ravens determined during negotiations that Garrett wouldn't accept. Neither side wanted to put the other in that position and amicably ended the discussions. Where was John Harbaugh during this process? The assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles was in Palo Alto, Calif., to attend Jim's wedding to his second wife, Sarah. He heard rumors that he was on Baltimore's radar screen, but he had yet to be contacted. John was at the airport on Sunday morning to fly back to the East Coast when Newsome called and asked if he wanted to interview. That day. John asked if he could return to Philadelphia and meet with the Ravens on Monday.
John Harbaugh's success with Ravens due – in part – to Cowboys' Jason Garrett
Dallas Morning News | Feb 1