American Football Database
Walt Garrison
No. 32     Dallas Cowboys
Fullback, Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1944-07-23) July 23, 1944 (age 78)
Place of birth: Denton, Texas
High School: Lewisville High School (TX)
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
College: Oklahoma State
NFL Draft: 1966 / Round: 5 / Pick: 79
Debuted in 1966 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1974 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Pro Bowl selection (1973)
  • Dallas Cowboys 25th Anniversary Team
Stats at
Stats at

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, where he was a two-time All Big Eight choice.

Early years

Born in Denton, Texas, Garrison attended nearby Lewisville High School in Lewisville, and graduated in 1962.

College career

Garrison enrolled at Oklahoma State University 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 against the Green Bay Packers.

He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma State University Hall of Honor.

Professional career

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 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. His style of play and perceived ability to play hurt brought recognition in Cowboys lore, even playing the 1970 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers with a cracked collarbone and a broken ankle.

During Dallas' championship season of 1971, Garrison showed his pass-catching skills, leading the team in receiving with 40 catches and a 9.9 per catch average. 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.[1]

A "real" cowboy, Garrison spent time on the professional rodeo circuit during the football off-seasons. His signing bonus with the Cowboys in 1966 season included a horse trailer. A knee injury he sustained in an exhibition steer wrestling accident at the College National Rodeo Finals in 1974 ended his pro football career.

He played in the NFL for 9 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 Cowboys 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."

He was named to the Dallas Cowboys 25th anniversary team and also inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.

Life after football

Garrison was a long-time spokesman for Skoal smokeless tobacco, and is the current television spokesman for Bill Utter Ford near Denton. 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.

He has been known to recite humorous poems [1] and currently resides in Argyle, Texas.


External links

PR Dir. Curt Mosher, ed. (1974). Dallas Cowboys Media Guide. Dallas, TX: Dallas Cowboys Football Club. p. 20.