ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Don Meredith, one of the most recognizable figures of the early Dallas Cowboys and an original member of ABC's "Monday Night Football" broadcast team, died Sunday. He was 72. 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 played for the Cowboys from 1960-1968, becoming the starting quarterback in 1965. While he never led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, Meredith was one of the franchise's first stars.

Over his nine-year career, Meredith threw for 17,199 yards and 111 touchdowns. He retired unexpectedly before the 1969 season.

Just two years after retiring from football, Meredith joined Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell in the broadcast booth as part of the "Monday Night Football" crew.

He quickly became one of the most popular broadcasters in sports because of his folksy sayings and country humor.

Meredith's signature call was singing the famous Willie Nelson song "Turn Out the Lights" when it appeared a game's outcome had been determined.

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