Walt Garrison, a former NFL fullback who played nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and won a Super Bowl with them in 1971, has died. He was 79.
Garrison was a star at Oklahoma State before the Cowboys selected him in the fifth round of the 1966 NFL Draft.
He was also drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, who were in the American Football League at the time.
He was with the Cowboys from 1966 to 1974, retiring as the team’s No. 3 rusher and No. 4 receiver. He gained 3,886 rushing yards.
The team announced Garrison’s death on its website but did not reveal a cause.
Garrison was a cowboy off the field too. The team said he would go out after team meetings and compete in local rodeos as a steer wrestler. He would return to the team hotel before an 11 p.m. curfew.
“I wasn’t starting,” Garrison once said. “I was returning punts and kicks and covering on the kamikaze squad, that’s all I was doing. And, hell, you could get hurt worse on them than you can rodeoing. I didn’t think much about it, but the Cowboys did.”
Legendary Cowboys head coach Tom Landry prevented Garrison from moonlighting as a regular cowboy during the season, but he continued in the offseason.
“Coach Landry pointed out that there was a clause in my contract that if I got hurt doing another sport, that my contract would be null and void,” he was quoted as saying. “And I said, ‘OK.’ I didn’t think rodeo was that dangerous.”
Garrison was injured in 1975 while steer wrestling and called it a career in football.
At the height of his fame with the Cowboys, Garrison was also a national spokesman for Skoal.
He finished his NFL career with 39 touchdowns and was a Pro Bowler during the 1972 season. He had 74 rushing yards on 14 carries in the team’s 14-3 win over the Miami Dolphins in the 1972 Super Bowl.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.