Turn out the lights…

Former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry speaks to the crowd as he is inducted into the Ring of Honor at Texas Stadium Nov. 7, 1993. Looking on from left are former Cowboys Don Meredith, Don Perkins and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback “Dandy” Don Meredith passed away yesterday at the age of 72.

Meredith died at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokesman confirmed this morning.

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. She says a private graveside ceremony is being planned and that family members were traveling to Santa Fe.

“He was the best there was,” she said, describing him as kind, warm and funny. “We lost a good one.”

Meredith had battled emphysema in recent years and suffered a minor stroke in 2004.

Meredith was the original Dallas Cowboy, signing a personal services contract on Nov. 28, 1959, two months before the franchise officially gained admittance into the NFL.

“I’m very thankful,” said Meredith, when a reporter from The Dallas Morning News visited him in Santa Fe last October for a profile commemorating the 50th anniversary of his signing with the Cowboys. “I’m very thankful about where I’m from and who I am.”

Meredith was a two-time All-American at SMU and played for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1968. He led the Cowboys to the 1966 and 1967 NFL title games, both defeats to the Green Bay Packers, but he abruptly retired from pro football at age 31.Already famous in his native Texas, he quickly became a national celebrity through his work on Monday Night Football, starting in 1970. Millions tuned in each week to hear Meredith’s quick wit, homespun stories and needling of intellectual booth-mate Howard Cosell.

And, famously, Meredith would croon “The Party’s Over” to viewers when he determined that the game was out of reach.

Of his Cowboys career, Meredith once mused, “I don’t know how badly I’d feel if I wasn’t remembered at all.”

A little known secret: Don Meredith and my brother could have been brothers, so that means Don could have been my brother. Thier personalities were exactly the same.

I’m gonna miss ya Don.

God’s speed brother.

Lp

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks, from left, Don Meredith, Craig Morton, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Danny White, pose for a photograph at the team’s Legendary Quarterbacks private event Monday, Nov. 3, 2003, at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas

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