1975 Dallas Cowboys Player Rankings Countdown: #43 Bruce Walton
When the dictum was handed down during the off-season trimming NFL rosters from 47 to 43 players (with no taxi squad available to teams), it was a common assumption around the city of Dallas that Bruce Walton would be one of the casualties of the league’s new rule. But due to his versatility and the additional struggles of teammate Rodney Wallace, Bruce made the Cowboys’ final roster for the third consecutive year.
A fifth-round draft pick by the Cowboys in 1973, Walton was a dual-service member of the Dallas offensive line going into the 1975 season, adept at playing both tackle and guard positions, which provided head coach Tom Landry some options in the event that one of his starters suffered an injury. The fact that none of those injuries materialized meant that Bruce, the older brother of basketball superstar Bill Walton, spent much of the season watching the action from the sideline. When not playing the role of spectator, Walton was an unheralded blocker on kicking plays.
His most extended time on offense came in Week 9 versus New England when he filled in for Ron Howard as a blocking tight end on power running plays, helping the Cowboys pile up 171 combined rushing yards in a 34-31 Dallas victory. And due to being on the roster through the Cowboys’ magical postseason run later that winter, Bruce added to the luster of the Walton name by taking the field in the NFL’s bicentennial Super Bowl.