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:
*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?
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!
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.
Garrison’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.
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!
Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving
En una agencia libre muy callada de parte de los Dallas Cowboys, como es costumbre, lo más interesante hasta ahora se revuelve alrededor de un talento increíble en la línea defensiva: David Irving. El joven de la línea defensiva de Dallas recibió un tender de segunda ronda (con un costo de casi tres millones de dólares) de parte de los Cowboys, lo cual significa que vestirá la Estrella Solitaria un año más... ¿o no?
No, no es tan sencillo.
A diferencia de la etiqueta franquicia que recibió DeMarcus Lawrence hace unas semanas, un tender permite a un jugador recibir ofertas de otros equipos. Si Irving llega a recibir una oferta externa, sin embargo, los Cowboys tienen la oportunidad de igualarla.
Pero no sólo eso, sino que si no quieren igualar la oferta, pueden dejar ir al jugador y en cambio, el otro equipo tiene que compensar a los Cowboys con una selección de segunda ronda. Así como el tender de segunda ronda que se le otorgó a David Irving, hay tender de primera ronda o tender de "selección original."
Sin embargo, Irving no fue seleccionado en el NFL Draft, así que esta última opción hubiera tenido poco sentido.
Ahora, pensando en el 2018 y una temporada ya incierta, nos sentamos preguntando: ¿No valía la pena cubrir a Irving con un tender de primera ronda? Al final de cuentas, sólo hay aproximadamente un millón de diferencia entre ambos. Irving es un jugador lleno de talento, y podría llegar a estar entre los mejores en su posición próximamente.
Sin embargo, si somos honestos, es una buena decisión de la administración. Irving ha tenido sus cuantos problemas y quizá este tender ayude a definir su valor en el mercado. Si ningún equipo alrededor de la liga se atreve a ofrecerle un contrato, los Cowboys mejoran su posición en las negociaciones y quien sabe, quizá consigan un acuerdo más amigable para el equipo.
Además, si un equipo decide llevárselo... ¿qué tan malo sería?
Con el pick #19 en la primera ronda del Draft de la NFL, no están en una posición muy cómoda. Como bien algún jugador talentoso como el DT Vita Vea o el WR Calvin Ridley pueden caer a las manos de Stephen Jones, Will McClay y compañía, bien puede estar vacía la tabla.
Con jugadores como el S de Florida State Derwin James o el LB de Georgia Roquan Smith, deberían considerar realizar un trade para subir algunas selecciones y llevarse a uno de estos talentos que no estarán disponibles en el #19.
Con las selecciones globales 19, 50 y una segunda ronda extra que conseguirían por Irving, es fácil visualizar a este equipo dispuesto a hacer un movimiento así el día del Draft.
A pesar de una mala temporada en el 2017, los Dallas Cowboys son un equipo que están cerca de ser contendientes.
Cowboys Free Agency: FB Keith Smith Signing with Raiders
The Cowboys have lost an important role player from the offense as fullback Keith Smith is reportedly signing with the Oakland Raiders.
The #Raiders and FB Keith Smith have agreed to terms on a 2-year worth $4.2million, source said.
Smith, who has been with Dallas for four seasons, was the team's fullback the last two seasons. He started as a linebacker after going undrafted in 2014.
Whether on offense or defense, Keith has been a regular part of the special teams units. The Cowboys' previous special teams coach, Rich Bisaccia, just left this offseason to join the coaching staff in Oakland. That is a likely cause for Smith heading to the Raiders.
Dallas elected not to give Smith a restricted free agent tender, which made sense given his position. Even the lowest tender of $1.9 million would have been too rich for a part-time player.
Even with Keith gone, Dallas may not need to sign a new fullback. Backup RB Rod Smith has experience in that role. They could also use tight ends James Hanna or Geoff Swaim.
Fullback is obviously not the position it used to be in the days of Daryl Johnston, but there are still times you need that lead blocker out of the backfield. Given their reliance on the run game and the success that Ezekiel Elliott had with Keith Smith, Dallas will have to find a solid replacement plan.
Will Another Team Snag David Irving Away From Cowboys?
It was somewhat surprising to learn that the Dallas Cowboys only placed a second-round tender on David Irving. A first-round tender would have likely dissuaded any other team from signing him to a contract and giving up a first-round draft pick, but signing Irving to a contract and giving up a second-draft pick is much more plausible.
I can almost guarantee there are teams around the league right now who are discussing the pros and cons of trying to acquire David Irving. The Dallas Cowboys likely know this which means one of two things:
- The Cowboys are hoping someone sets David Irving's market value with the hopes of matching.
- The Cowboys are willing to part ways with Irving for a second-round draft pick.
There are teams out there who have more salary-cap space than the Dallas Cowboys who could easily sign him to a contract the Cowboys can't match. And, giving up a second-round draft pick for a dominating, yet inconsistent, defensive tackle is probably better than anyone they can draft.
It's not completely out of the realm of possibility Cowboys fans have seen the last of David Irving with a star on his helmet. But, it seems like a risk Dallas is willing to take, whether fans agree or not.
In 2017, David Irving recorded 22 tackles, seven quarterback sacks, six passes defensed, and one forced fumble. He did this after missing the first four games of the season due to a suspension and the last four due to a concussion. That's pretty impressive!
There is no denying Irving's impact when he's on the field, but it's all the other stuff that makes Dallas hesitant to commit fully to the 24-year-old DT.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I know what kind of person David Irving is in the locker room or off the field, but his past behavior and inconsistencies are concerning. Yes, he has immense upside, but that doesn't look as if it's enough for the Dallas Cowboys, at least not yet.
I think this ultimately comes down to the Cowboys not fully trusting David Irving just yet. Placing the second-round tender on him is more of a "prove it" kind of deal, if another team doesn't sign him away. The Cowboys probably want to see he has his head on straight and more consistency before fully committing. It's completely understandable.
It just doesn't seem as if David Irving is in the long-term plans for the Dallas Cowboys right now. I think they would be perfectly content receiving a second-round draft pick, but that decision might not sit well with a lot of Cowboys fans.
There is really no way of knowing if another NFL team will snag David Irving away, but I think the possibility of that happening is pretty high.
Will David Irving remain in Dallas in 2018?
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