Walt Garrison, the legendary American football player, left an indelible mark on the National Football League (NFL) as a fullback for the Dallas Cowboys. Born in Denton, Texas, on July 23, 1944, Garrison’s football journey began at Lewisville High School, where he showcased his skills as a linebacker. His exceptional talent earned him a football scholarship to Oklahoma State University, where he transitioned to the running back position and flourished.
In 1966, Garrison was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft, marking the start of his illustrious nine-season career with the team. Known for his toughness and dependability on the field, Garrison retired as the third leading rusher and fourth-leading receiver in Cowboys history. He was named to the Dallas Cowboys’ 25th anniversary team and received numerous accolades, including induction into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma State Athletics Hall of Honor, Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Tragically, Garrison’s NFL career was cut short by a knee injury sustained during a rodeo event in 1975. Despite this setback, his legacy lives on as a Super Bowl champion and a revered figure in both the football and rodeo worlds.
Early Life and College Career
Birth and Education in Denton, Texas
I’m sure many football fans are familiar with the name Walt Garrison. He was an American professional football player who made a name for himself as a fullback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys. Born on July 23, 1944, in Denton, Texas, Garrison’s journey to football stardom began in his hometown.
Garrison attended Lewisville High School, where he showcased his athletic prowess on the football field. As a linebacker, he quickly made a name for himself and caught the attention of college scouts. Little did he know that his skills would earn him a football scholarship from Oklahoma State University, paving the way for an incredible college career.
Football Scholarship at Oklahoma State University
Garrison’s time at Oklahoma State University was nothing short of remarkable. With his football scholarship in hand, he joined the team as a running back and quickly proved his worth. His talent, determination, and hard work on the field made him a force to be reckoned with.
Success as a Running Back in College
During his college career, Garrison achieved great success as a running back. He consistently displayed his speed, agility, and ability to find the gaps in the defense. His impressive performance on the field attracted the attention of NFL scouts, setting the stage for his professional football career.
Garrison’s achievements and contributions during his college years laid the foundation for his future success in the NFL. His dedication and skill as a running back would soon earn him a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster, where he would go on to leave an indelible mark on the team’s history.
NFL Career with the Dallas Cowboys
Drafting and Nine Seasons with the Cowboys
In the world of American football, few players have left as lasting an impact as Walt Garrison did during his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. Born on July 23, 1944, in Denton, Texas, Garrison’s journey to professional football began at Lewisville High School, where he showcased his skills as a linebacker. His talent caught the attention of scouts, and he was awarded a football scholarship to Oklahoma State University.
During his college years, Garrison transitioned to playing as a running back and achieved remarkable success on the field. In 1966, his talents were recognized by the Dallas Cowboys, who selected him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. This marked the beginning of Garrison’s nine-season tenure with the Cowboys, where he would go on to make a significant impact.
Retirement and Legacy in Team History
Garrison’s time with the Dallas Cowboys was filled with memorable moments and outstanding achievements. He retired as the third leading rusher and fourth-leading receiver in the team’s history, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise. His toughness and dependability on the field earned him a place on the Dallas Cowboys’ 25th anniversary team, solidifying his status as a revered figure in the organization’s history.
Toughness and Dependability on the Field
One of the defining characteristics of Garrison’s NFL career was his toughness. He displayed an unwavering determination and resilience on the field, leading by example and inspiring his teammates. Garrison’s dependability was another trait that set him apart. He consistently delivered exceptional performances, earning the trust and respect of his coaches and fellow players.
Inductions and Achievements
Garrison’s contributions to the sport did not go unnoticed. In 1993, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, a testament to his impact on the state’s football legacy. In 2000, Garrison received further recognition when he was inducted into the Oklahoma State Athletics Hall of Honor. His achievements were not limited to his home state, as he was also honored by the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Military Service and Philanthropy
In addition to his football career, Garrison dedicated himself to serving his country. He fulfilled military duty while simultaneously pursuing his passion for football. Garrison’s commitment extended beyond the field and the military, as he established the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Through his philanthropic efforts, he made a positive impact on the lives of those affected by the disease.
Walt Garrison’s NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys is a testament to his talent, toughness, and impact on the sport. From his drafting in 1966 to his retirement after the 1974 season, Garrison left an indelible mark on the franchise and its history. His legacy extends beyond the football field, as his philanthropy and military service further exemplify his character and dedication. Walt Garrison will forever be remembered as a beloved figure in the Dallas Cowboys’ storied history.
Stats and Records
Regular Season and Playoff Games Played Rankings in Rushing Yards
Walt Garrison, the American professional football player who played as a fullback for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League (NFL), left an indelible mark on the team’s record books. Over the course of his nine-season career, Garrison played a total of 119 regular season and 13 playoff games for the Cowboys.
Garrison’s contributions on the field were particularly notable in the rushing yards category. Among all the players in Cowboys’ history, he ranks ninth in career rushing yards. His powerful running style and ability to break through defenses allowed him to accumulate an impressive total throughout his career.
Average Yards per Rush
In addition to his overall rushing yards, Garrison’s ability to gain significant yardage on each individual rush set him apart from his peers. On the club’s all-time list, he ranks fourth in average yards per rush. This statistic demonstrates not only Garrison’s knack for finding open lanes and making the most of his opportunities, but also his consistency and effectiveness as a ball carrier.
Garrison’s high ranking in this category reflects his skill and determination on the field. He was known for his toughness and dependability, traits that enabled him to consistently gain positive yardage and contribute to the Cowboys’ success.
Walt Garrison’s Legacy
Walt Garrison’s impact on the Dallas Cowboys extends beyond his impressive stats and records. His toughness and dependability made him a beloved figure among teammates and fans alike. Garrison’s contributions were recognized when he was named to the Dallas Cowboys’ 25th anniversary team, showcasing the enduring legacy he left with the franchise.
Off the field, Garrison’s dedication to serving others was evident through his military duty and the establishment of the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. He used his platform as a professional athlete to make a positive difference in the lives of others, further solidifying his status as a role model and community leader.
Tragically, on October 11, 2023, Walt Garrison passed away at the age of 79 in Weatherford, Texas. His contributions to the Dallas Cowboys and the sport of football will always be remembered and celebrated.
Stay tuned for more sections on different aspects of Walt Garrison’s life and career.
Offseason Rodeo and Other Achievements
Walt Garrison, the former American professional football player, had a fascinating career that extended beyond the football field. Known for his toughness and dependability, Garrison’s achievements reached far beyond his nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League (NFL).
Participation in Rodeos and Competing During the Offseasons
One of the unique aspects of Garrison’s career was his participation in rodeos during the NFL offseasons. Despite the demanding schedule of professional football, Garrison found time to pursue his passion for rodeo. In fact, he was so committed to the sport that he even competed in a rodeo the night before a home game during his rookie season.
Knee Injury and End of NFL Career
Unfortunately, Garrison’s rodeo pursuits took a toll on his football career. In 1975, he suffered a knee injury while steer wrestling, forcing him to retire from the NFL. This injury marked the end of a successful football career but opened the door to new opportunities for Garrison.
Pro Bowl Selection and Super Bowl Victory
Although his NFL career was cut short, Garrison still managed to achieve significant milestones. In 1972, he earned his only Pro Bowl selection, a testament to his skill and impact on the field. However, the highlight of Garrison’s NFL career came in 1972 when he helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to victory in Super Bowl VI.
Success in Rodeo and Placing in Cheyenne Frontier Days
After retiring from football, Garrison redirected his focus back to rodeo. He found success in this arena as well, including an impressive performance at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo in 1973, where he placed among the top competitors. Garrison’s dedication and talent shone through in the rodeo world, further solidifying his place as a versatile athlete.
Throughout his career, Walt Garrison proved that he was not only a formidable force on the football field but also a skilled rodeo competitor. His ability to balance two demanding sports is a testament to his work ethic and love for athletics.
Retirement and Later Years
Retiring After the 1974 Season
After a successful career as a professional football player, Walt Garrison made the difficult decision to retire after the 1974 season. Garrison had played for the Dallas Cowboys for nine seasons, leaving a lasting impact on the team. As the third leading rusher and fourth-leading receiver in Cowboys’ history at the time of his retirement, Garrison had proven himself as a dependable and tough player on the field.
Establishing the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
Following his retirement, Garrison embarked on a new journey of service and philanthropy. Inspired by his own experiences and desire to make a difference, he established the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. This foundation aimed to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that affects the central nervous system. Through his foundation, Garrison sought to support research efforts and provide resources for those living with MS.
Death and Legacy
On October 11, 2023, Walt Garrison passed away at the age of 79 in Weatherford, Texas. His legacy as a football player, philanthropist, and advocate for multiple sclerosis lives on. Garrison’s impact on the Dallas Cowboys and the sport of football was recognized with his induction into various halls of fame, including the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, the Oklahoma State Athletics Hall of Honor in 2000, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Garrison’s dedication to both football and rodeo showcased his versatility and determination. Despite participating in rodeos during the offseasons, he remained committed to his football career. In fact, as a rookie, Garrison even competed in a rodeo the night before a home game, demonstrating his relentless spirit and love for both sports.
Garrison’s career in the NFL was not without its challenges. A knee injury sustained from steer wrestling in 1975 ultimately led to the end of his football career. However, he had already achieved significant milestones, including earning his only Pro Bowl selection in 1972 and being a part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Super Bowl VI victory.
Throughout his life, Garrison’s passion for rodeo continued alongside his football endeavors. In 1973, he achieved success in the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, further solidifying his reputation as a versatile athlete both on and off the football field.
In conclusion, Walt Garrison’s retirement marked the end of a remarkable football career, but it also opened the door to a new chapter of philanthropy and advocacy. Through the establishment of the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Garrison left a lasting impact on the fight against MS. His legacy as a tough and dependable player, as well as his dedication to both football and rodeo, will forever be remembered in the annals of sports history.