Super Bowl Champ and Cowboys Icon Dies at 79

( – Former NFL star Walt Garrison wasn’t just a Cowboy on the college and professional fields; he was also a cowboy in real life. The running back was a hero in his home state of Texas. Sadly, he has now passed away.

On October 12, the Dallas Cowboys announced Garrison’s death. According to reports, he passed away near Weatherford, Texas, at a memory loss care facility where he was receiving treatment. The former NFL star was 79 years old.

Garrison was born at the end of World War II on June 23, 1944. He went to high school at Lewisville High, where he was a part of the Fighting Farmers football team. He went off to college, where he played for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In 1966, “America’s Team” chose him in the fifth round of the NFL draft. He would stay with the Cowboys for his entire career, playing from 1966 to 1974. He helped the team win the Super Bowl in 1971.

The New York Times reported that Garrison once joked that Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry thought his name was Number 32 and that he didn’t think the coach “remembered [his] name until [his] third year in the league.”

During his off time, Garrison was a real cowboy. In fact, when he signed with the popular football team, his $18,000 contract came with a horse trailer as a signing bonus. He used the trailer to travel to rodeos when he wasn’t playing. Although Dallas’ coach eventually prohibited him from attending the events during the season, he continued wrestling steers in the offseason.

That’s what he was doing in 1975 when he suffered a knee injury that ended his NFL career. Still, over the course of his life, he raised over $4 million at rodeo events to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS). He also created the Walt Garrison Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. In 2018, he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

Garrison is survived by his son, Marty Garrison, and wife, Debbie Garrison.

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