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Cowboys CTK: Real Life Cowboy Walt Garrison Lassoes #32

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Real Life Cowboy Walt Garrison Lassoes #32 3

I like to think that you, my fellow staff members at Inside The Star, and the players featured on our Countdown To Kickoff are all teammates. That being said, before we begin I’d like to ask nicely that nobody punch me in the jaw.

It’s hump day which means it’s time to look forward to the rest of the week, but I’m looking way past that… 32 days to be specific. In that time you’ll be in your favorite jersey, praising your fantasy football team, and basking in all of the National Football League glory.

To commemorate our pending joy we’re going to continue with our Countdown To Kickoff series. As always remember that flash photograph is permitted and you will get your toy back at the end of class.

Onward to the Greatest 32 in Dallas Cowboys History!

The Following Players Have All Worn 32 For The Dallas Cowboys:

  • Marcus Coleman, CB
  • Tom Franckhauser, CB
  • Walt Garrison, RB
  • Alonzo Highsmith, RB
  • Tyrone Hughes, CB
  • Tim Jackson, CB
  • ReShard Lee, CB
  • Orlando Scandrick*, CB
  • Anthony Thomas, RB
  • Blair Thomas, RB
  • Dennis Thurman, CB
  • Michael Wiley, RB

*Active player on the Dallas Cowboys roster

1966 brought forth the first Super Bowl season for the NFL/AFL. While the big game that we all know and love did take place, the merger of the two leagues didn’t fully take place until 1970.

This meant that the two leagues still had their usual separate drafts. There was a running back hailing from Oklahoma State that peaked the interests of teams from both leagues. The Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL deemed him worthy of their 17th round draft pick, while the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys prioritized him higher… taking him in the 5th round of 1966. Who was this Cowboy?

Walt Garrison

The former Oklahoma State Cowboy turned Dallas Cowboy had been a Cowboy all his life… a real life Cowboy. Walt Garrison was frequently seen on the ranch and enjoyed life with a ten-gallon hat and a pair of boots. He epitomized the name of the Dallas Cowboys and relished in the Cowboy way. His Cowboy lifestyle was so important to him that his signing bonus in 1966 included a horse trailer!

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Real Life Cowboy Walt Garrison Lassoes #32

While Walt Garrison was certainly a serviceable running back and showed a lot of promise, the Dallas Cowboys already had a Pro Bowl ball carrier that was in the middle of his career in Don Perkins.

Garrison patiently waited his turn, serving mostly on special teams during his first years. Walt knew he had the talent and drive to be the star running back for the Dallas Cowboys. He served his time in back up duty, until Don Perkins retired after the 1968 contest, and then it was time to get to work.

Over The Moon

One of the most impressive things ever achieved by the human race happened in 1969 when we landed on the moon. Walt Garrison would accomplish a similarly impressive thing when he gave the Dallas Cowboy running game life after Don Perkins.

Walt waltzed his way to a career high 818 yards in his first season as the full-time starter. He became a household name, but real Cowboy fans began to respect him for much more than just being a yardage machine.

Walt Garrison: Man Of Steel

The NFL is a nasty game. You’re talking about the finest athletes in the world intentionally hitting and bruising one another. This, undoubtedly, leads to injuries. Such things could not sideline Walt Garrison. He had a grit and determination about him to where he was going to fight through anything and continue to play at a high level.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Real Life Cowboy Walt Garrison Lassoes #32 2Garrison’s superhuman toughness was on display during the 1970 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. Neither a cracked collarbone nor a very serious ankle injury could stop Walt Garrison.

He overcame these ailments, rushing 17 times for 71 yards and catching 3 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Walt's heroic effort helped the Cowboys secure victory and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl - their first berth in the big game in franchise history.

Walt The Winner

The Cowboys would ultimately lose their first Super Bowl against the Baltimore Colts. They hit the field in 1971 desperate to win a World Championship, and Walt Garrison was determined to help.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: Real Life Cowboy Walt Garrison Lassoes #32 1

Teamed up with Duane Thomas and Calvin Hill, Walt Garrison helped establish the rushing attack of the Dallas Cowboys as one of the most prominent, and feared, throughout the entire NFL. The three-headed beast of Thomas, Hill, and Garrison combined for 408 carries yielding 1,690 yards and 20 touchdowns in the 1971 campaign.

This trio of running backs helped the Dallas Cowboys reach Super Bowl VI and avenge their loss from a year before. They trounced Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins, by a score of 24-3, and established themselves as the champions of the world.

#32: Walt Garrison

Walt Garrison totaled 3,886 rushing yards and 1,794 receiving yards before it was all said and done. This real life Cowboy served as the model of consistency during his days in Dallas.

When asked about how dependable Walt was, famed quarterback Don Meredith jokingly said, “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, you’d get the ball to Walt Garrison, by God, he’d get you five.”

The Dallas Cowboys were very fortunate to have such a reliable running back throughout Walt’s tenure. He exemplified the name of the Dallas Cowboys down to his core, and he accomplished quite a lot in his time… making Walt Garrison the Greatest 32 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 31 in Dallas Cowboys History is!


Want to share your opinions on who should be featured on our Countdown To Kickoff? Email me at rjochoa@insidethestar.com or Tweet @rjochoa.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys CTK: Real Life Cowboy Walt Garrison Lassoes #32" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Star Blog

Tyron Smith Named Most “Underpaid Veteran” On Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: T #77 Tyron Smith 1

Counting the pockets of Cowboys star players has become a favorite activity of the national media this offseason, as everyone tries to figure out how Dallas will structure the deals for their young players over the course of the next year.

While trying to figure out what the new deals will look like, it's worth reflecting on how well the team did on some of their past negotiations. The Ringer released an article this week naming the most underpaid veteran on each NFL roster, with Tyron Smith earning that honor for the Cowboys.

Smith, who signed his extension with the team back in 2014, is under the deal until the 2024 season. That 8 year extension was lucrative at the time for sure, but as the salary cap rises and other offensive tackles have gotten paid, it looks more like a bargain deal for Dallas by the second.

"A long contract is a bad deal for an elite player in a league in which revenue grows handily. The salary cap was $133 million in 2014, but it’s $188.2 million for 2019. So while the Cowboys have 41.5 percent more money to spend, Smith hasn’t had a raise in five seasons. The Cowboys essentially locked up one of the best tackles of his generation for his entire career."

When put like this, you can see just what a steal of a contract the Cowboys signed Tyron Smith for. Smith is inked for the entirety of the prime of his career, and has very little leverage for a holdout given how many years still remain on this deal.

On the field, Tyron Smith remains one of the best left tackles in all of football, even if back issues have forced him to miss some time over the last two seasons. Smith should remain a top contributor for the Cowboys for at least a few more years, all of which will come at a bargain for a Cowboys team looking to execute some salary cap gymnastics next offseason.



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PFF Ranks Cowboys Run Defense 13th In The NFL

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys duo of young linebackers took the NFL by storm in 2018.

Rookie Leighton Vander Esch and former second round pick Jaylon Smith played well above expectations, as for the first time in years Dallas did not face a significant drop off in defensive production when Sean Lee was out and injured.

These young linebackers are the cornerstone of a run defense which should be among the league's best going forward, and Pro Football Focus agrees. Well, somewhat agrees.

PFF ranked all 32 run defenses heading into the 2019 season, slotting the Cowboys 13th overall. Better than half the league, but not quite top 10.

https://twitter.com/PFF_Cowboys/status/1151155572059717632

PFF's reasoning behind this ranking certainly makes sense, as they credit the young linebacker duo without mentioning much of what will be in front of them helping to stop opposing running games.

"The Cowboys’ run defense begins and ends with the league’s best young linebacker duo. Leighton Vander Esch ranked third in run-stop percentage as a rookie while Jaylon Smith checked in at 29th."

The playoff loss in Los Angeles has left a bad taste about the Cowboys' interior defensive line in a lot of mouths, but I do think they've improved the unit this offseason. Signing Christian Covington and drafting Trysten Hill was a nice start to do so, but having Maliek Collins healthy and Antwaun Woods back for a full season will also go a long way.

Interestingly enough, two of the Cowboys divisional foes came in ranked above them on this list. Washington was slotted as the 12th best run defense, while Philadelphia was placed at number 8. Both teams' units deserve respect, of course, but this further highlights how difficult it could be to run the ball in the NFC East this season.

While I hate simply throwing this term around, analytics suggest that passing is what wins games in the NFL. Passing and stopping the pass, I should say.

With strong run defenses in their division, the Cowboys will need to maximize their passing game efficiency if they want to repeat as NFC East champions.



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Star Blog

3 Reasons Amari Cooper is Primed for an All-Pro Season

Matthew Lenix

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3 Reasons Amari Cooper is Primed for an All-Pro Season

Amari Cooper changed life for the entire Dallas Cowboys offense in 2018. Finally, Quarterback Dak Prescott has the number one option at wide receiver he's desperately needed since his rookie campaign. Now, after half a season and multiple playoff games under his belt in Dallas, Cooper is set to have a monster year. Here are three specific reasons why.

1. Culture

Head Coach Jason Garrett has established a certain way of doing things in Dallas since taking over in 2010. His constant search for the RKG or "Right Kinda Guy" as he puts it has the culture in the locker room at a very positive and productive place. As criticized as he is, justifiably or not, he has his team all on the same page. This is something Cooper has been trying to find since he entered the league in 2015. An organization with the right mindset in order for him to perform and maximize his skill set. After being traded to Dallas, Cooper opened up in November about being unhappy during his days in Oakland.

"I wasn't really happy in Oakland or anything like that. But when I sat and thought about it [Monday} night, I thought about the fact that they traded me away. I don't know how to feel about it," Cooper told Yahoo Sports.

This may seem small to others considering these players make millions of dollars right? Well, it doesn't change the fact that they're human. When you feel unappreciated you don't play to the best of your abilities. Shortly after the trade, Cooper talked about how he's been different since putting a star on his helmet. "I feel like it did change me, as far as having that chip on my shoulder. Not that I wasn't passionate before, but playing with more passion, trying to intentionally have fun out there. It definitely has changed me, in terms of me going out there and just having fun with it," Cooper said. A change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered for Cooper and the Cowboys.

2. The other weapons around him

The Cowboys aren't just Amari Cooper or bust at the wide receiver position. Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb provide more challenges for defenses on a weekly basis. Gallup has firmly locked down the number two spot on the depth chart. It took a while for him to establish chemistry with Dak Prescott, as they would misfire on several big plays during the first half of the season. Nonetheless, by seasons end things started to pick up, and he finished with 33 receptions for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the playoffs, he scored a touchdown in the Cowboys Wild Card win over Seattle. The next week against the Rams he performed well even in defeat, with 6 receptions for 119 yards. He's got speed, size, and versatility. Now with a full season and two games of playoff experience under his belt, I look for even more production from Gallup, as a possible breakout star.

Randall Cobb is a much-needed upgrade in the slot for the Cowboys. Unlike former receiver Cole Beasley, Cobb can line up inside or outside. Giving new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore a bigger bag of tricks at his disposal. Now, he can lineup Cooper inside or outside and play with a plethora of different looks, keeping defenses off balance because of the uncertainty of how the Cowboys will attack through the air.

Then, of course, there's Ezekiel Elliott. The two-time rushing champion is the tone-setter on offense and dictates how defenses will attack. With Cooper being such a threat in the air you basically have to pick your poison. 8-9 man fronts against the run can make you vulnerable to play action down the field or quick slants with Cooper's exceptional route running. The more productive Elliott is the more honest it keeps opposing defenses, opening up more opportunities in the passing game. Averaging 101.2 yards per game for his career, second all-time to Hall of Famer Jim Brown, Elliott can make create even more opportunities for Cooper in 2019 with a full season of playing time together.

3. Motivation

Amari Cooper is currently looking to sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys. Preferably, both sides would like to get this deal done before the season starts considering he's in the last year of his rookie contract that is set to pay him 13.9 million in 2019. However, it isn't just a new deal that motivates Cooper heading into the new season.

"It's kind of a weird situation, just being that I've never been in this situation before, talking about a contract. But also, I'm under a fifth-year option, so I'm not too familiar with it. I really don't ask my agent many questions. I'm not really worried about it that much. I'm more focused on actually playing and really earning the respect and then the contract," Cooper said.

Being motivated by earning respect is a very mature approach from Cooper. Now, add that to the fact that I'm sure he wants to firmly put his name alongside Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr, and Michael Thomas as the best receivers in the game, you have a fully motivated number one option heading into the new season.

Amari Cooper has already made three pro bowls, but now there's another level for him to reach. In just nine games last year with the Cowboys he caught 53 passes for 725 yards and 6 touchdowns. Also, he caught another 13 on 18 targets in the playoffs for 171 yards and a score. He's in the right culture, he has a number of other weapons around him and he has multiple reasons to be motivated heading in the new season. With a full offseason of building chemistry with Dak Prescott, I see Cooper taking that leap to the All-Pro level in 2019.



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