Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Dec 2010

Don Meredith Dies At 72

Former Cowboys quarterback and Monday Night Football commentator Don Meredith died on Sunday night at 72.

Meredith was the starting quarterback on the Cowboys teams that made the NFL Championship Game (what would amount to the Conference Championship today) in 1966 and 1967. He made three Pro Bowls before retiring at 31 and serving as a member of the initial MNF crew with Howard Cosell and Keith Jackson.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 06 Dec 2010

15 comments, Last at 06 Dec 2010, 11:58pm by BigWoody


by PatsFan :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 11:23am

Turn out the lights, the party's over...

(sorry, couldn't resist :)

RIP, Don!

by Harris :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 11:45am

That is disgusting and tasteless, and I am FURIOUS that I didn't get to make that joke.

Hail Hydra!

by Led :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 1:27pm

I actually think Dandy Don would've gotten a chuckle out of that. He was one of a kind.

by Temo :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 1:32pm

Ya, I think he might have (though I have to say this is the 3rd instance of it I've seen since the news that he'd passed, making it not disgusting or tasteless, but unoriginal)

by Led :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 2:02pm

First time I've seen it, which makes it original to me! Seriously, it's an obvious joke and I was expecting to see it, but the anticipation sort of makes it more funny.

by AnonymousD (not verified) :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 12:25pm

R.I.P., Dandy Don.

by Rocksteady (not verified) :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 12:50pm

Don made MNF FUN to watch. R.I.P.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 2:31pm

He not only made it fun for fans to watch. He made it entertaining enough that even non-football fans enjoyed it. Housewives that never watched football normally would watch with their husbands just to listen to the booth's banter. Fans would still watch during a blowout to share in Dandy Don's partying. Cosell was interesting and Kathy Lee's ex was a decent play-by-play. Even though I hated Meredith as a Cowboy (being a Packers' fan during the 66 and 67 championships), I loved him once he got to the booth. He could have easily played for a few more years. But like Jim Brown, it's good to get out when you're still among the best rather than hang on too long.

by There is no Santa Claus (not verified) :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 3:30pm

Yes, RIP. HopefullY ESPN will do something tonight to honor the Dandy one.

And while we're talking about the classic MNF era, I would be riveted by the halftime highlights narrated by Cosell. Getting NFL highlights from out of town games back then was gold.

by JonFrum (not verified) :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 4:20pm

That Meredith put up with Cosell all those years can only mean that he's with the angels today.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 4:44pm

Isn't there a story about Cosell puking (I've read that the blood alcohol content in that booth, and even the producer's truck, was pretty high in the early years of MNF) all over Meredith's cowboy boots during a game?

I kind of admire the fact that once Meredith made his pile, he didn't have any need for the trappings of celebrity, and dropped from view deliberately.

by Kevin from Philly :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 6:12pm

Don't know if it's true, but alegedly, Leonard Tose (former Eagles owner) sent a bottle of scotch up to the booth when MNF was at the Vet. The legend went that Howard yakked during halftime, and was absent from the broadcast for the rest of the night. After that game, Cosell never gave the Eagles a break during the halftime highlights, and any future Eagles appearances. The hatred for the Eagles eventually led Cosell to deliver a non-stop harangue about Philadelphia fans over the "Snowballs at Santa" incident, which has never died down despite much worse behavior by the fans of other teams.

by milo :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 6:50pm

When Don Meredith entered the league in 1960, there were only three quarterbacks prior who were 6'3" tall and threw for 5000 yards in their careers. There have been 120 since. He was ahead of his time.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 7:43pm

He ws the dandiest

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Mon, 12/06/2010 - 11:58pm

Well said, RJ, well siad!