NFL Hall of Famer, former Dallas Cowbody standout Rayfield Wright dies at age 76

Sad news emerged from the sports world last week when it was announced that Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Rayfield Wright died at the age of 76, as ESPN.com reported.

The passing was confirmed by Wright’s family, and according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame organization, the legendary player had spent several days in the hospital after suffering what was described as a severe seizure.

Wright, known to many as the “Big Cat,” spent an impressive 13 seasons playing in the professional ranks for the Cowboys and appeared in five Super Bowls, according to ESPN.

At an imposing six feet, six inches tall and more than 250 pounds, Wright began his NFL career as a backup tight end, but it was when renowned Cowboys coach Tom Landry suggested he try his luck at tackle that he truly found his niche, going on to rack up six seasons in a row as a Pro Bowler and three All-Pro designations.

Sadly, Wright received a diagnosis of early stage dementia back in 2012, though it was reported that he had experienced seizures for years since his 1980 retirement from the league, according to People, something he attributed to the numerous concussions sustained during his playing years.

Indeed, Wright was among the 4,500 former players who filed suit against the NFL, alleging that the dangers of ongoing blows to the head were known to the league and hidden from athletes for years, ultimately reaching a settlement in 2015 that was adjusted in 2022.

As news broke of Wright’s death, tributes poured in from across the football world, with Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones declaring, “Rayfield Wright was the epitome of what it takes to be a Hall of Famer. His grit, his agility, his passion, his charisma and his love for football, the community and his family always shined through.”

Fellow Hall of Famer and former Cowboy Michael Irvin added his voice to those praising Wright in the wake of his passing, taking to social media to post a photo of himself with the late tackle and to write, “Thought and prayer for the family and friends of this great man. RIP my HOF teammate Rayfield Wright.”

Though the end of Wright’s football story was clearly marked by tragic circumstances and a steady physical decline, legions of fans around the world will continue to remember and treasure the incredible on-field exploits that made him a true giant of the game.