Dan Reeves, a Dallas Cowboys running back and Atlanta Falcons coach that spent over 30 years in the NFL, has tragically passed away at the age of 77 “due to complications from a long illness.”
“Legendary NFL player and coach Dan Reeves passed away early this morning, peacefully and surrounded by his loving family at his home in Atlanta, GA,” his family announced in a statement, according to PEOPLE. The statement was issued through Aaron Salkin, a former Atlanta Falcons media relations director.
The Reeves family additionally included the sentiments, “His legacy will continue through his many friends, players, and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community.”
Arthur M. Blank, Falcons owner and chairman, looked back fondly on Reeves’ substantial impact on the team following his passing. The former Dallas Cowboys running back was the head coach from 1997 to 2003 and helped aid his team to their first-ever Super Bowl win in 1999.
“Dan Reeves leaves a lasting legacy in our game as a player and coach. His track record of success in Dallas, Denver, New York, and Atlanta over several decades speaks for itself, marking a long and successful life and career in football,” the Falcons owner relayed.
He continued, “On behalf of the Atlanta Falcons, I extend our condolences to Dan’s family and friends as they mourn his passing.”
Alongside the Falcons, the 77-year-old coached the Denver Broncos from 1981 to 1992. The team also addressed the passing of their former coach with a heartfelt message shared on social media.
The team wrote, “We’re saddened by the passing of Ring of Fame Head Coach Dan Reeves, who led us to three Super Bowl appearances. We send our sincerest condolences to his family.”
53-year-old former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe also expressed his condolences to the coach he once worked with. “This breaks my heart,” Sharpe wrote in the comment section of Denver’s post. “Coach Reeves believed enough in me to draft me, forget to cut me, and then found a position for me to play to get me on the field. Coach Reeves, I’ll never forget what you did for me and my family. Rest easy Coach.”
Remembering the life of Dan Reeves and his place in the NFL
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While the NFL legend is mostly known for his work with the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos, he also spent time as the head coach for the New York Giants from 1993 to 1996. In 1993 and 1998, he was awarded as the Coach of the Year. However, prior to his coaching career, he played with the Dallas Cowboys between 1965 and 1972.
Thus far, Reeves is the only person to ever earn a Super Title as both a coach and as a player: In 1972, he helped lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory and again in 1978 as an assistant coach. Needless to say, his impact on the NFL will never be forgotten.
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