You might not recognize the name and you probably haven’t seen him in any highlights, but the Cowboys lost one of their original greats over the Fourth of July weekend.
William “Buck” Buchanan passed away Saturday at age 82.
Ring a bell? It should.
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Buchanan was the Cowboys’ long-time equipment manager and one of the nicest men I’ve ever come across in my life. When I was a wide-eyed, snotty-nosed beat writer at the Star-Telegram in the early ‘90s Buchanan helped show me the ropes. Gave me the short-cuts at Valley Ranch. Taught me about the various equipment and enlightened me on which player preferred what brand.
He was an Air Force man. Regimented. Professional. Respected.
As the equipment manager from ’73-’98 he cashed checks from Clint Murchinson and Jerry Jones, synched notes with Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson and repaired helmets for Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. All with a smile and unflinching service.
The department remains in good hands, as Buck’s son, Bucky, now oversees the role.
When I hear the horn at training camp or practice that signals the end of a workout segment, it always reminds me of Buck. And it always makes me smile.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.