SilverStarDigest continues its Countdown to Kickoff series by examining each player on the Cowboys' roster, highlighting a new player everyday until the 2003 season opener. Tuesday marks the 74th day until kickoff, so we'll take an extensive look at #74 OL Tyson Walter.
OL Tyson Walter
Ohio State University
Tyson Walter was selected as the 179th selection in the 6th round of NFL Draft in 2002. Walter holds the distinction of starting more games as a Buckeye, 49, than any other player in school history. He started every game as a senior, 11 times at left tackle and once at left guard, and graded out with an 83.7% rating for consistency. He emerged as the starter at center for the Cowboys late season.
Walter's offseason has been anything but stable as he has dealt with the Cowboys possibly drafting his replacement and the resolution of a civil suit against a former teammate. A Columbus, Ohio, jury awarded Walter only $6,000 in resolution of a civil suit that Walter had brought against Saints center LeCharles Bentley. Walter had sought more than $2 million from Bentley, who broke the nose of the Cowboys player during a fight in February of 2000 when both were students at Ohio State.
Tyson Walter is an intelligent lineman that plays with solid fundamentals. He blocks with forward lean, quick with his hands and keeps his feet moving in pass protection. Displays "punch" at the point of attack, rides defenders out of their rush angles and a patient lineman that waits for defenders to make his move instead of overextending and getting beat.
Walter may have lost his starting job during the draft when the Cowboys selected Wisconsin's Al Johnson in the second round of the draft. He emerged as the starter at center late last season and several coaches from the Dave Campo regime made numerous comments regarding his impressive play.
Walter realizes that the Cowboys have gone after additional talent in the 2003 draft, but he's still confident that he can get the job done this upcoming season. "Ideally you'd like a situation where salary cap and numbers don't apply, but on some teams they do apply. It's just life," Walter said about the Cowboys drafting Al Johnson. "But Parcells has expressed to us that results and performance are going to be what determines who plays, and I believe him."
Walter isn't powerful or dominant at the point of attack, and he has difficulty sustaining his blocks, but he's working hard this offseason to improve himself. Nonetheless, Tyson Walter has his work cut out for him if he's going to see the field in 2003. He ended the 2002 regular season as the starter at center, but the addition of former Wisconsin Al Johnson appears to confirm the idea the Cowboys are going in a different direction this season.