One of the Big Reasons 'Monday Night Football' Became Not Only Popular, But a Cultural Touch Point in the 1970s, Was The Banter Between Howard Cosell and Don Meredith; 'Dandy' Don Dead at 72 AP, relayed on TVWeek.comDon Meredith, early Dallas Cowboys quarterback and an original member of ABC's "Monday Night Football" team, died of a brain hemorrhage Sunday in Santa Fe, N.M., according to the Associated Press. He was 72.
"Dandy Don," as he came to be known, played for the Cowboys from 1960-1968, becoming the starting quarterback in 1965.
Two years after retiring unexpectedly before the 1969 season, Meredith joined Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell on ABC's "Monday Night Football" commentator team, his folksy sayings and country humor quickly endearing him to sports fans , the report says.
Jackson was replaced after the first season as the play-by-play announcer by Frank Gifford.
Meredith left ABC for a three-year stint at NBC after the 1973 season but returned to "MNF" in 1977 before retiring in 1984, a year after Cosell's departure from the team. Cosell died in 1995.