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Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

Remembering a true Cowboy

Alumnus, NFL/rodeo star Walt Garrison passes away at 79
Ruben Plascencia
Alumnus Walter Garrison passed away at the age of 79 on Oct. 11.

In the midst of homecoming festivities and football, Lewisville High School has lost one of its most memorable alumni. Walt Garrison, a former Oklahoma State player and Dallas Cowboy, passed away at the age of 79. He played three years for the Fighting Farmers and was a rodeo cowboy, emphatic spokesperson, and a cowboy not just by team, but by heart.

The Lewisville native played linebacker and tight end throughout his high school career. Garrison was a team captain in 1961, and received All-District Honorable Mention honors in his junior and senior years. 

Garrison helped revive a struggling program at Oklahoma State. In 1964, after being converted to fullback, he led the Big 8 conference in rushing. The following year, the Cowboys, thanks in large part to Garrison, beat their rival Oklahoma Sooners for the first time in 20 years. Garrison was second in the conference in rushing in 1965 that season, earning him notoriety among pro football scouts.

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs both selected Garrison in their respective 1966 drafts. It was an easy choice for the Texas native, who signed with Dallas in 1966 and helped kickstart a 70s dynasty during his nine-year career.

In the fall, Garrison ran the ball as a Dallas Cowboy. During the offseason, he was a rodeo cowboy, his lifetime hobby and “first love.” Ironically, in 1975, a knee injury while steer wrestling ended Garrison’s football career. 

He was a one time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl VI champion. Garrison retired with 3,886 rushing yards, currently placing him ninth among the Cowboys all time leading rushers, and 39 total touchdowns.

Garrison then turned to a career in advertising, serving as the spokesperson for Skoal-Copenhagen non-smoke tobacco. Until his health worsened in the final years of his life, Garrison also returned for homecoming festivities in Lewisville, including the homecoming parade, which took place the day he passed away.

Walt Garrison is a figure who won’t be forgotten, not by his alma mater, not by Oklahoma State or Dallas, and not by the rodeo community. He is arguably the most famous member of the long maroon line, and there are few others who encapsulate the term ‘Cowboy’ better than him.

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