Throughout his 38-year career in the NFL as a player and coach, Dan Reeves participated in nine Super Bowls.
A hard-nosed running back with the Dallas Cowboys who would go on to be a head coach for the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, Reeves has passed away at the age of 77.
Reeves’ family released a statement to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo:
“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. He passed away at age 77 due to complications from a long illness. His legacy will continue through his many friends, players and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community. Arrangements are still to be determined.”
In eight seasons as a running back for the Cowboys, Reeves went to two Super Bowls and was part of Dallas’ Super Bowl VI-winning team in the 1971 season – his second-to-last as a player. He would go on to become an assistant coach with the Cowboys and was part of three Super Bowl trips and one victory before moving on to a long and distinguished career as an NFL head coach.
He was twice recognized as AP NFL Coach of the Year – in 1993 with the Giants and 1998 with the Falcons – but his days along the Broncos sidelines with John Elway at quarterback likely stand as the hallmark of his career.
In 12 seasons with the Broncos from 1981-1992, Reeves piloted them to three Super Bowl appearances. He would move on to coach the Giants from 1993-1996 before taking over the Falcons’ reins as head coach in 1997 until 2003.
In 23 seasons as a head coach, Reeves concluded his career with a 190-165-2 record in the regular season. He led his teams to nine postseason berths and was 11-9 in the playoffs.
A Georgia native, Reeves died three weeks shy of his 78th birthday.
He played college ball at South Carolina as a quarterback, but went undrafted before joining Tom Landry’s Cowboys in 1965. Dallas went 7-7 that season, but was a winner every season thereafter during Reeves’ playing career. He finished his days on the field with 1,990 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns over eight seasons – his best showing coming in 1966, when the halfback tallied a team-high 757 yards and eight touchdowns.
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