Yesterday I wasn't able to post the news that Cowboys great "Dandy" Don Meredith had passed away from a brain hemorrhage. Let's take a moment now to remember him.
He's remembered as part of one of the greatest announcing crews to ever grace the sports scene. The combination of Meredith and Howard Cosell was as good as any stand-up comedy routine. Cosell was the straight man, Meredith the clown prince. Fank Gifford spent his time trying to keep the circus in the tent. The Monday Night Football crew of the 1970's was as big as the game itself, they were a traveling road-show unto themselves. It was a different television landscape back then, and anyone who watched football in the 70's knows how big of stars Meredith, Cosell and Gifford were.
But as Cowboys fans, we also know that Meredith was one of the early stars of our beloved franchise. He played for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1968, when he abruptly retired from the game at age 31. He took the Cowboys to NFL Championship games in 1966 and 1967. Dallas never won the big one under Meredith, but he always had the Cowboys in contention. Whenever someone discusses Don Meredith as a football player, the word "tough" always comes up. He took a licking and kept on ticking.
What we'll truly remember about Don Meredith, though, was his easy-going personality combined with a razor-sharp wit. The man was naturally funny. His rendition of "Turn out the lights, the party's over" at the end of games became a classic. But it was his one-liners and quips at the expense of Howard Cosell that came to define the show. And then there was the night the Monday Night cameras caught a disgusted fan at the end of a game flipping America the bird. Meredith coolly commented that he was just saying his team was number one.
Thanks for the memories, Dandy.
Jerry Jones on Meredith:
"Don Meredith was a Dallas Cowboys original. His wit, charm, and strength of personality were matched only by his wonderful leadership, toughness and athletic skill. Throughout 50 years of history, the Cowboys legacy has been built by dynamic and colorful personalities who could also compete at the highest level. No one fit that description better than Don Meredith."