If you saw a big guy with white hair who looked like former Dallas Cowboys defensive back Everson Walls jogging on North Johnson Street Friday afternoon, congratulations. You had a brush with greatness.
Walls was in Alice for the Boys and Girls Club’s annual Steak and Burger Dinner.
He was only in town briefly, but still managed with get in a quick jog. Since he donated a kidney to former teammate Ron Springs in 2007, jogging is a big part of Walls’ life, as are the Cowboys these days.
Walls, who started for the Cowboys’ secondary from 1981 to 1989, said the pressure and Super Bowl expectations put on this year’s team aren’t much different from what other great Dallas teams before them have faced.
“That’s just part of being the Dallas Cowboys,” said Walls. “In the ‘70s, they had the tag of not being able to win the big one. Then, we had that again in the ‘80s and now they have it again. Everyone is always ready to stick the Cowboys with that tag. It’s just that everyone expects so much from that organization. The only thing they can do to hush up all of their critics is to go out and win the big one.”
Walls’ career in the NFL?spanned 14 years, and included stints with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in his later playing days. In that time, he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro selection.
Walls has a Super Bowl ring which he won with Bill Parcells and the Giants in 1990, but he’s most proud of all of his interceptions. He is the league’s only three-time season interception leader. He led the Cowboys in that department to a franchise-record five times and when he retired, his total of 57 put him tenth on the all-time career interceptions list.
He may be a little biased as a former defensive player, but he says if there is anything lacking from this year’s Cowboys’ team, it’s their defense’s ability to create big plays like interceptions.
“Our defense gave up a lot of points when I played, just like this team does,” Walls said. “What they have to understand is that any team you play is gonna make big plays. Any offense you go up against is paid money, just like they are, to make big plays. As a defense, you’re going to give up some big plays. At the same time, they need to make their share of big plays to make it easier for their offense.”