DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and assistant coach Wade Wilson died at his home in Coppell, Texas on Friday, his 60th birthday, the Dallas Cowboys confirm.
The Cowboys did not say anything about his cause of death.
Coppell Police said someone made a 911 call from Wilson’s home, where the caller said Wilson was unresponsive and CPR was underway. When paramedics got there, they determined Wilson had died.
Wilson played with five different NFL teams in a career that spanned 19 years from 1981 to 1999. Following his playing career,Wilson served as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Wilson was an eighth round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1981 and led them to three playoff appearances, including the 1987 NFC Championship Game, during his 11 years with the team. He also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons (1992), New Orleans Saints (1993-94), Dallas Cowboys (1995-97) and Oakland Raiders (1998-99). He served as Troy Aikman’s backup on the Cowboys Super Bowl XXX championship team in 1995.
Aikman tweeted shortly after hearing the news, “Sad news today as we lost a teammate far too soon. Wade Wilson was my backup from 1995-‘97 and my QB coach my last season in 2000. Prayers for his children and family.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released the following statement on Wilson’s passing:
Wade was a cherished and valued member of our organization as a player, a coach and a wonderful friend.
His contributions began as a member of a Super Bowl winning team and carried on through to helping guide the development and growth of both Tony Romo and Dak Prescott.
This is a sad day for all members of the Cowboys family as we have lost a truly great man. Our thoughts are with his family, loved ones and all of the lives that he touched with his warm demeanor and his caring persona. Wade Wilson will be missed greatly—and never forgotten.
Former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith tweeted, “I am completely saddened by the loss of my former teammate, Wade Wilson… my thoughts, prayers and heart go to him and his family during this time. 🙏🏾”
Former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson tweeted, “Cowboys Nation lost a good man today in Wade Wilson! I personally lost a friend and a great teammate! RIP Wade!”
Former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten tweeted, “RIP Sticks. A life well lived.”
Wilson completed his career with a 75.6 quarterback rating on 1,391-of-2,428 passing for 17,283 yards. His best statistical year was 1988 when he led the NFC with a 91.5 quarterback rating and completed 204-of-332 passes (61.4%) for 2,746 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
During his three years in Dallas, Wilson threw for 585 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions on 58-of-96 passing for a 63.9 rating. He earned one start (at Washington, 12/22/96) in his three-year stay in Dallas.
Born in Commerce, Texas, Wilson graduated from Commerce High School and lettered four years at East Texas State University, where he earned NAIA All-America and Lone Star Conference MVP honors as a senior while leading the conference in passing and total offense.
CBS 11 Sports Director Bill Jones tweeted, “So sad to hear the news that Wade Wilson has passed away. Such a great guy. So kind. Great QB at East Texas State..18y NFL career..He was Troy Aikman’s backup (95-97) and QB coach (00-02)…Tony Romo’s QB coach (07-16) and Dak Prescott’s (16-17). This was his 60th birthday.”