In many ways throughout his 79 years, Walt Garrison was known as a cowboy. A linebacker for Team USA for nine seasons under coach Tom Landry, he was an athlete at Oklahoma State University where he was a member of the state’s football and rodeo teams and later also Became a professional wrestler.
Garrison died Wednesday night, according to the Dallas Cowboys. A North Texas native, he was born in Denton, attended high school in Louisville and went to college north of the Red River.
Garrison played linebacker for the OSU Cowboys from 1963 to 1965, making the All-Academic team in 1964 and leading the Big Eight in rushing yards in 1965. He was named the outstanding linebacker at the Senior Bowl. While at OSU, he also spent a year with the school’s athletics team.
After college, Garrison was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round (79th overall) of the 1966 NFL Draft. The Cowboys said that while playing linebacker in the NFL, Garrison appeared in 119 regular season games and another 13 postseason games over a nine-year career.
Garrison still ranks fourth in club history in yards per carry average (4.32) and ninth in career rushing yards (3,491), according to the team.
Garrison said in an interview with the team that while he enjoys playing football, his true passion is rodeo and if he could make more money, he would stick with it full-time.
Garrison called Dallas’ victory over Miami in Super Bowl VI in 1971 a highlight of his NFL career, but said that when he won some cash in 1974 and competed in several of the “Father of America’s” bullfights When he got good grades, he was “excited to death.” All of them,” Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.
After a career in football and rodeo, Garrison was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He is also a member of the Texas Cowboys Hall of Fame and was named to the Dallas Cowboys 25th Anniversary Team. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Oklahoma Athletics Hall of Honor in 2000.
Funeral arrangements have not been made public.