Former NFL player wins rodeo

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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NFL players have been involved in pro rodeo here and there over the years.

Walt Garrison, a star Dallas Cowboys running back in the 1970s, was a prize-winning steer wrestler on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. He was a great promoter and ambassador for the sport after he retired from football. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame last month in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Former Minnesota Vikings tight end Jared Allen owned bulls that were part of the PBR circuit in recent years. Former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco attempted to ride a bull at a PBR show in 2011. Ochocinco lasted 1.5 seconds and crossed bull riding off of his bucket list.

One former NFL player who has recently become involved with pro rodeo is former New York Giants tight end Bear Pascoe. A high point for the 6-foot-5, 260 pound tight end was making several receptions in the Super Bowl XLVI in the Giants’ upset of the New England Patriots.

Pascoe was in the NFL from 2009 to 2016. During the past two years, he has learned how to become a prize winning steer wrestler on the PRCA circuit.

Pascoe finished in the money at the Ellensburg Rodeo with bulldogging times of 4.0 and 4.4 seconds last weekend in Washington. The rodeo drew the sport’s elite and was the highest paying PRCA rodeo of the Labor Day Weekend with a purse of more than $330,000.

Pascoe said steer wrestling is very challenging and similar to playing pro football in some ways.

“Both are very high tempo, very physical sports,” he said. “In steer wrestling, you’re dealing with three animals and two humans and so a lot can happen. At least on a football field, most guys can kind of judge what a team’s going to do or what a defense is going to do. There’s a lot more variables when you’re steer wrestling.”

Pascoe grew up on a California ranch. After being involved with the NFL for seven years, he returned more to his western roots. He began learning to become a steer wrestler two years ago with help of his father-in-law, John W. Jones, a three-time PRCA world champion steer wrestler in the 1980s.

Jones said Pascoe has the potential to become a standout pro competitor.

“He grew up on a ranch, so riding, and roping and horsemanship is not new to him. He picked it up pretty quick,” Jones said “His technique gets better all of the time. If he doesn’t get hurt, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see him at the NFR [National Finals Rodeo] because his work ethic is good.”

Pascoe’s wife, Katie, a prize-winning barrel racer on the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit, said her husband thrives because he’s goal oriented.

“He sets a goal and really focuses on that goal,” she said. “He’s really good at doing the things that it takes to realize his goal. He has a strong desire to win.”

Despite rodeo’s many variables, Pascoe has been a fast learner. He clinched the steer wrestling title at PRCA approved rodeo in August 2017 in Santa Barbara, Calif., after turning in a time of 4.9. The rodeo featured both cowboys who had earned a PRCA membership card and those who were attempting to earn membership in the world’s most prominent pro rodeo league.


Defending world all-around champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur finished second in steer roping at the Ellensburg Rodeo with a two-run time of 27.1 to earn $2,968.

Trevor Brazile, a 23-time world champion from Decatur, tied for third in the second round with an 11.9.

Cooper also lassoed the steer roping title at the Walla Walla Frontier Days in Walla Walla, Wash., with a four-run time of 52.8. Cooper leads the PRCA’s 2018 world all-around race. Brazile is second.

Cooper also is on top of the the PRCA’s steer roping world standings.


The North Texas High School Rodeo Association will begin its 2018-2019 season this weekend (Sept. 7-9) at the NTHSRA Arena in Fort Worth. Hadley Miller of Boyd is the NTHSRA’s defending boys all-around champion. For information, call (817) 232-2855.

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at

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