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Legendary Dallas Cowboy “Dandy DOn” Don Meredith Dies …

Legendary Dallas Cowboy Don Meredith Dies … “Dandy Don” to fans and a legend to the world of American football-this is how former Dallas Cowboys most famous quarterback Don Meredith will be remembered. The football star who also played a hosting stint on ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” dies at the age of 72 on December 5, 2010. According to his wife, Susan, Meredith died in Santa Fe at the St. Vincent Regional Medical Center after suffering from brain hemorrhage. He had lapsed into a coma before he died.

The tragic news shocked teammates, coaches and fans who have witnessed the colorful life of Meredith both in and off the field. Meredith, who was born April 10, 1938, grew up in Mount Vernon Texas, which is approximately 100 miles east of Dallas. He was a three-year starting quarterback for Southern Methodist University (SMU). He was also part of an All-American selection from 1958 to 1959. The football legend played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1968. He became the starting quarterback in 1965. He was named NFL Player of the Year after throwing 24 touchdown passes and 2,805 yards.

During the course of his sports career, Meredith threw for 17,199 yards and was able to give his team 11 touchdowns. Even though he never led his team to the Super Bowl, he was a big star in his own right, taking his team to three straight division titles and NFL championship games in 1966 and 1967. Both games were won by their opponent Green Bay. Nevertheless, his contributions to the team carved his name in the history of American football.

His retirement in 1969 came unexpected. Two years later, he launched his television career on Monday Night Football, where he appeared as an analyst for over 10 years. He shared the limelight in this program with Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell. Frank Gifford replaced Jackson the next season. Not surprising to the people who knows Meredith’s charisma and comedic antics, he became even bigger star as a television broadcaster than he was when he was still a football player.

Meredith’s popularity can be accounted to his homespun humor and friendly banters with Cosell. He was very famous for singing Willie Nelson’s “The Party’s Over,” when the game’s results had become apparent. In 1973, Meredith left ABC and had a three-year stint at NBC. But he went back in 1977. His transition from a football star to an even bigger television star paved the way for other retired athletes to join the bandwagon.

Apart from his career in sports broadcasting, Meredith also had several appearances in television shows and movies. One is his recurring role in “Police Story.” In another stint, he was a spokesperson for Lipton teas. Even though he tried to have an acting career, his wit and charm brought him back in Monday Night Football, where his fans went crazy over him. He retired in 1984.

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