Don Meredith, a legendary football icon and sports television announcer, died Sunday at the age of 72.
"Dandy Don," as he was known, died after suffering a brain hemorrhage and lapsing into a coma in Santa Fe, N.M., where he lived out of the limelight with his wife Susan for the last 25 years.
Meredith was a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys during the 1960s and he was a good one.
He was the National Football League's Player of the Year in 1966 when he led the Cowboys to their first winning season.
But it was in the broadcast booth where he made a bigger name for himself. Meredith teamed up with Howard Cosell during the early years of ABC-TV's Monday Night Football.
Toward the end of each game, when the outcome was certain, Meredith would break into his rendition of Willie Nelson's song, "Turn Out The Lights."
"Watching him on TV was like being in the huddle with Don again," former teammate Dan Reeves said. "He just made the game fun."
Meredith was the life of the party in the "Monday Night" booth from 1970 through 1984, except for a three-year stint playing a detective on NBC's "Police Story." He spent 11 of those years teamed with another former star player, Frank Gifford, a friend before they became broadcast partners.
"To say that Don was an instant success would be a gross understatement," Gifford said in a statement. "For millions of football fans, he would always be the one who topped Howard Cosell with one-liners or a simple `Come on, Howard.'"
Susan Meredith said she and her daughter were at Meredith's side when he died.
"He was the best there was," she said, describing him as kind, warm and funny. "We lost a good one."
She said a private graveside service was being planned.