Don Meredith, one of the most recognizable figures of the early Dallas Cowboys and an original member of ABC’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast team, died yesterday. He was 72.
Meredith’s wife, Susan, told The Associated Press on Monday her husband died in Santa Fe after suffering a brain hemorrhage and lapsing into a coma.
Meredith played for the Cowboys from 1960-1968, becoming the starting quarterback in 1965. While he never led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, Meredith was one of the franchise’s first stars.
Over his nine-year career, Meredith threw for 17,199 yards and 111 touchdowns. He retired unexpectedly before the 1969 season.
|Meredith, Howard Cossell and Frank Gifford|
“Dandy Don”, as he was affectionately known, shared time under center with Eddie LeBaron before winning the starting job in 1965.
Meredith led the Cowboys to three straight division titles and to consecutive NFL Championship games in 1966 and 1967. Dallas lost both games though to eventual Super Bowl winners Green Bay. In 1966, Meredith guided the Cowboys to their first-ever winning season (10-3-1). He was named NFL Player of the Year after throwing a career-high 24 touchdown passes and 2,805 yards.
Although Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman made the Cowboys’ quarterback job synonymous with greatness, both credit Meredith for launching that tradition.
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