Walt Garrison, a former Cowboys fullback, passed away on Wednesday evening, the team reported. He was 79 years old.
From 1966 to 1974, Garrison was the Cowboys’ top fullback.
In his nine seasons with the Cowboys, he participated in 119 regular-season games and 13 postseason contests. He now holds the fourth-best average rushing yardage (4.32) and ninth-best career rushing yardage (3,491) records for the team.
In his spare time, Garrison also worked as a cowboy, participating in rodeos and even, briefly as a rookie, performing the night before home games. The native of Denton, Texas, was a champion steer wrestler.
“I rodeoed in the offseason. I steer wrestled. I roped some calves, but mostly steer wrestling,” Garrison once said, via the team website. “And coach [Tom] Landry pointed out that there was a clause in my contract that if I got hurt doing another sport, that my contract would be null and void, and I said, ‘OK.’ I didn’t think rodeo was that dangerous.”
Garrison was selected by the Cowboys in the fifth round of the 1966 NFL Draft (79th overall), while the Chiefs selected him in the 17th round of the 1966 AFL Draft.
His first three seasons were spent primarily on special teams, where he was also a key kickoff returner.
Garrison made his only Pro Bowl appearance in 1972 after amassing 784 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground and 390 yards and three scores on 37 receptions.
He took part in two Super Bowls and received one ring.
In 1975, while steer wrestling, Garrison had a knee injury that ended his NFL career but began his relationship with US Smokeless Tobacco.