Mark Walen
No. 95
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1963-03-10) March 10, 1963 (age 59)
San Francisco, California
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school:Burlingame (CA)
NFL Draft:1986 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

Mark Hartley Walen (born March 10, 1963) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at UCLA.

Early years

Walen attended Burlingame High School, where he began playing football until his junior year. As a senior, he received All-county honors. He also lettered in basketball and soccer.

In 2005, he was inducted into the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame.[1]

College career

Walen accepted a football scholarship from UCLA. As a freshman, he started 2 games against the University of Oregon and USC. He also contributed to the 24-14 victory against the University of Michigan in the 1983 Rose Bowl.

As a sophomore, he was lost for the season, after tearing ligaments in his left knee during the third game against the University of Nebraska. He was able to recover in time to play in the 1984 Rose Bowl.

As a fifth-year senior, he was a key part of the seventh-ranked total defense (number 1 in rush defense),[2] that included the play of Ken Norton Jr., Carnell Lake, James Washington, Jim Wahler and Darryl Henley. After finishing the season with 74 tackles (third on the team) and 9 sacks (tied school record), he received Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, second-team All-American and All-Pac-10 honors.[3]

He finished his college career with 185 tackles, 20 sacks (set school record) and 31 tackles for loss (tied for fifth in school history).

Professional career

Walen was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he was lost for the year after fracturing a bone in his right ankle, while completing a 1 1/2-mile run on the last day of the Cowboys' rookie orientation in May.[4] The next year he had some few snaps on passing situations.

In 1988, he had his best season when in a reserve role (started only 2 games) he registered 4 sacks (fifth on the team). On September 25, he replaced and ineffective Kevin Brooks against the Atlanta Falcons, making 4 tackles and one sack. On October 30, he started in place of Brooks against the Phoenix Cardinals, registering 9 tackles, 2 sacks and blocked an extra point.

The next season, he emerged as one of the full-time starters on the defensive line at left tackle, but was placed on the injured reserve list after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the second pre-season game against the Los Angeles Raiders.[5]

On August 22, 1990, he was waived after leaving the team in training camp, in reaction to being moved to the offensive line and then back again to the defensive line in the span of a week.[6]


  1. ^ "Getting with program reaped rewards for Walen". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "True Grit on Ground : Walen Anchors UCLA's Ranked Rushing Defense". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "Donahue and Walen Win Honors in Pacific 10 Conference". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  4. ^ "Names in the News". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "Denver To Showcase Rookies". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "Walen leaves Dallas after position change". Retrieved April 30, 2019.