The Game Before the Money Podcast spoke with Walt Garrison about his time at NFL Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys and becoming roommates with Dan Reeves— in Episode 30 of the football history podcast.
NFL Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys
Garrison played college ball at Oklahoma State. Both the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League drafted him. He signed with the Cowboys and played in several collegiate All-Star games like the East-West Shrine Game and the College All-Star Game. As a result, he arrived at the Cowboys training camp late. He said some of the players had already been cut by the time he got there. Garrison said the training camp’s facilities were rather simple.Embed from Getty Images
“We were at California Lutheran College, and we lived in a dorm. Rookies lived on the second floor and all the veterans were on the bottom floor. We practiced at their practice field and played the inner squad game on their game field. It was just like being at Oklahoma State in a dorm room. The cafeteria was the same. You went to eat breakfast, lunch, and supper over there, you know. You had to walk over from the dorm to the dining hall. That’s about it. It wasn’t anything special.”
Becoming Roommates with Dan Reeves
That was the Dallas Cowboys training camp of 1966. Walt Garrison was one of only a handful of rookies to make the team. He told me how he became roommates with Dan Reeves, who later became head coach of the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons.Embed from Getty Images
“Reeves and I started rooming together my rookie year after the season started. I don’t know who he was rooming with, but whoever it was got traded or cut. And so back then, veterans picked rookies. They picked who you were going to room with.
“So Reeves said, ‘you’re rooming with me on the road and stuff.’ I said, ‘why would you pick me?’ He said, ‘because I can understand you.’ He’s from Georgia. You know he’s from Americus, Georgia, and talked real slow and stuff.” (Garrison, a slow talker himself, grew up in Lewisville, Texas.)
Walt added that Reeves was a student of the game even back when Dan Reeves was early in his career as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Hear more about Garrison and Reeves on the podcast and read even more in the book, The Game Before the Money, published by the University of Nebraska Press.
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