Tom Landry became the first coach of the Cowboys in 1960, and he remained on the job for nearly three full decades. One of the players he acquired for the team’s first season spent all of Landry’s tenure with the team as well. Jerry Tubbs, a linebacker turned player-coach turned assistant coach, has died at the age of 77.
A first-round pick of the Chicago Cardinals (yes, they once were in Chicago) in 1957, Tubbs later was traded to the 49ers. The Niners didn’t include Tubbs in their 25-man protected list prior to the 1960 expansion draft because Tubbs informed the Niners he had enough of football.
“The only reason we got him was because he told the 49ers he was going to retire,” former Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt told Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News.
Tubbs became a Pro Bowl middle linebacker in 1962, added coach to his playing status in 1966, and then became a full-time assistant the next year.
He stayed with the team through the 1988 season, exited the game for good while still in his early 50s.
Our condolences go out to Coach Tubbs’ wife, Marlene, and his teammates, players, friends, and colleagues.