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Walter Benton "Walt" Garrison born July 23, 1944 is a former professional football player, a fullback for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League He was selected in the fifth round of the 1966 NFL Draft 79th overall out of Oklahoma State
- 1 Early years
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Born in Denton, Texas, Garrison attended nearby Lewisville High School in Lewisville, and graduated in 1962
Garrison enrolled at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and began his freshman year on defense as a linebacker, until Phil Cutchin became OSU head coach in the spring and moved him to running back
He finished his sophomore season only 12 yards behind rushing leader George Thomas Jr As a junior in 1964, he led the Big Eight Conference in rushing with 730 yards and was also named All-Academic Big-8 Garrison completed his senior season as OSU's leading rusher with 924 yards and led the Cowboys' to their first win over Oklahoma in 20 years He was named to the All Big-8 team and his post-season highlights included appearances in the East–West Shrine Game in San Francisco, the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, where he was voted the Outstanding Back of the North team, the Coaches All-America Game in Atlanta and the College All-Star Game in Chicago in August 1966 against the Green Bay Packers
He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma State University Hall of Honor
Garrison was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the 1966 NFL Draft Known for his toughness and blocking, he took over at fullback after the retirement of Don Perkins in 1969 and had a career-high 818 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns His style of play and perceived ability to play hurt brought him recognition in Cowboys lore, which included playing the 1970 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers with a cracked collarbone and a serious ankle injury
During Dallas' championship season of 1971, Garrison showed his pass-catching skills, leading the team in receptions with 40 catches He made the Pro Bowl after the 1972 season when he rushed for 784 yards and 7 touchdowns That year, he was a major part of the Cowboys' three-headed rushing attack that also included Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas The previous year, the Cowboys had ridden these three running backs all the way to a Super Bowl VI victory Garrison was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in September 1972 for its pro football preview issue; the photo was from Super Bowl VI in January After the season, he was named to the 1973 Pro Bowl
A "real" cowboy, he spent time on the professional rodeo circuit during the football off-seasons His signing bonus with the Cowboys in 1966 included a horse trailer In June 1975, Garrison made an appearance at the College National Rodeo Finals in Bozeman, Montana; a knee injury he sustained in an exhibition steer wrestling accident ended his pro football career He retired in August 1975, and was replaced in the starting lineup with Robert Newhouse
Garrison played in the NFL for nine seasons missing only 7 games, all of them with the Cowboys He finished his career with 3,886 yards rushing and 1,794 yards receiving Garrison retired as the third leading rusher and fourth leading receiver in team history
One of the more humorous sports quotes was attributed to Cowboy quarterback Don Meredith speaking about Garrison's dependability, "If it was third down, and you needed four yards, if you'd get the ball to Walt Garrison, he'd get ya five And if it was third down and ya needed twenty yards, if you'd get the ball to Walt Garrison, by God, he'd get you five"
Garrison was named to the Dallas Cowboys' 25th anniversary team and was also inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
He was a long-time spokesman for Skoal smokeless tobacco, and is the current television spokesman for Bill Utter Ford near Denton, Texas In 1988, he published his biography "Once a Cowboy" with writer John Tullius The title is a reference to not only his rodeo cowboy career, but also his career with the Dallas Cowboys, and his college career with the Oklahoma State Cowboys
Garrison established the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and currently resides in Argyle, Texas
- ^ Gill, Jerry September 4, 2010 "Oral History Interview with Walt Garrison" O-STATE Stories Retrieved 4 September 2015
- ^ Eatman, Nick 2013-05-16 "Can RB Randle Display Necessary, Expected Toughness" DallasCowboyscom Retrieved 2014-07-23
- ^ PR Dir Curt Mosher, ed 1974 Dallas Cowboys Media Guide Dallas, TX: Dallas Cowboys Football Club p 20
- ^ "Dallas scrambles to stay on top: Cowboy Walt Garrison" Sports Illustrated September 18, 1972
- ^ "Dallas back gets bum steer" St Petersburg Independent Florida Associated Press June 20, 1975 p 2C
- ^ "Walt Garrison retires" Nashua Telegraph New Hampshire Associated Press August 16, 1975 p 14
- ^ Werner, John 2013-01-24 "TEXAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME: WALT GARRISON True Cowboy, hat and all" WacoTribcom Retrieved 2014-07-23
- ^ Garrison, Walt; Tullius, John "Once a Cowboy" WorldCat Retrieved 4 September 2015
- Oklahoma State Hall of Honor bio
- Sports Reference – collegiate statistics
- Career statistics and player information from NFLcom Pro-Football-Reference Databasefootballcom
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