ONCE A COWBOY by Walt & John Tullius Garrison


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Rough-and-ready notes on a pro football career that read like an antic cross between Dan Jenkins' Semi-Tough and Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff. At 43, Garrison, once a durable running back for the Dallas Cowboys, now plugs Skoal chewing tobacco and takes an occasional fling on the rodeo circuit. His lively, aw-shucks narrative takes him from a country boyhood in rural Texas (to which he's returned in retirement) to gridiron stardom at Oklahoma State University. Drafted by America's Team in 1966, the author played nine successful seasons for Coach Tom Landry (""the man in the iron face""). While the club made the play-offs and won a Super Bowl Championship during his tenure, Garrison focuses largely on tall tales (some of which may even be tree) about the high jinks of sportive NFL cronies. Still at a loss to understand the straight-arrow mores of Roger Staubach (whose football talent he respects), the author celebrates the often manic shenanigans of fun-loving rowdies in a generally drug-free era. His fellowship of pagan athletes encompasses the bibulous, high-living likes of Mike Ditka, E.J. Holub, John Matuszak, Dandy Don Meredith, Craig Morton, et al. There was, of course, work as well as play in the NFL of the late 1960's and early 1970's, but Garrison prefers to recall his time there in mythic man's-man terms. Fine evocative fare for football fans of either gender, which nonetheless could give mamas additional reason not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys. The fast-paced text includes eight pages of black-and-white photographs (not seen).

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1988
Publisher: Random House