Broadcasting legend and former Pro Bowler Irv Cross dies at 81

Irv Cross
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Irv Cross, a former NFL defensive back who became one of the cornerstones of The NFL Today in the 1970s, has died. He was 81.

The Eagles announced his passing on Sunday night.

Cross played for the Eagles from 1961 through 1965, and again in 1969. He spent 1966 through 1968 with the Rams. Cross was a two-time Pro Bowler, in 1964 and 1965.

After his playing career ended, Cross became a broadcaster with CBS in 1971. Cross formed part of the legendary team that launched The NFL Today in 1975. The show became appointment viewing, with Cross joined by Brent Musburger and, eventually, Phyllis George and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder.

Cross worked on The NFL Today from 1975 through 1989. He received the Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2009.

We extend our condolences to Irv’s family, friends, and colleagues.

54 responses to “Broadcasting legend and former Pro Bowler Irv Cross dies at 81

  1. The NFL Today was solid gold compared to pregame shows nowadays consisting of 4-5 ex players & coaches acting like imbeciles.

  2. Started watching the NFL with this crew. Irv was always the voice of reason, told it like it was, and a gentleman. RIP irv, thanks for being a broadcast icon.

  3. Awesome guy. He was the backbone of the NFL Today in the 80s and made the whole thing work. RIP

  4. Nothing better turning CBS on and Brent saying “You are looking live” 11am on a Sunday morning. Irv, Brent, Greek and Phyllis set the standard, and not surpassed. RIP IRV

  5. I really enjoyed watching Irv & Brent the gang back in the day. Irv came across as very likable & professional. He was a class act. My condolences to his family.

  6. Irv, Brent, Phyllis and Jimmy the Greek, now that was some pre-game exellence

    Condolences to all of Mr. Cross’s family and friends and Rest in Peace big fella

  7. I was 9 years old when that show started. And I had already watched my share of Eagles games, and the Super Bowl, of course. But it wasn’t really a regular thing yet.

    The first time we tuned in, my dad — an Eagles fan since the 1930s — said, “Hey Irv Cross! Aw man…he was a GREAT player — an Eagle! And he’s a great guy!”

    That was all I needed. Sat there glued to the tube every Sunday ever since.

    Thanks, dad. Thanks, Irv.

  8. He was a Class Act. That group was Must see TV every Sunday before games. Now I wait until game time to turn on game.

  9. The best pregame show ever. He and Brent Musburger were so much fun to watch. RIP and Godspeed Irv.

  10. Man , I remember watching him as a kid on the nfl today.

    RIP condeleses to his family and friends

  11. Legend…a foundational broadcast team member that moved the NFL on T.V. into the really big time. RIP and condolences to the family.

  12. RIP Irv Cross

    Cross was the first person to do a segment on the young 49er secondary in 1981 of Lott, Wright, Williamson, all rookies teaming with second year veteran Dwight Hicks, and their contributions to the team having a shot at the playoffs. Of course once the segment ran, Musburger and his ego to be shown, preempted the piece before it finished but the viewers knew this Niner team could have a special year.

  13. RIP Irv Cross. While reading this story what I found a bit peculiar was the fact that after making the Pro Bowl in 1964 and 1965; In 1966, he was playing for a new team, The Rams. The Eagles traded a Pro Bowler?? Seems odd.

  14. I feel like a little part of me died with Mr Cross. As a youngster in the 70s I watched the NFL Today every week. Mr Cross taught me a lot about the game and contributed to my love of the game that exists to this day. Thanks and RIP.

  15. Irv Cross was 100% class. I could see that even as a Falcons crazy kid (who savored any rare time we earned positive attention on NFL Today).

  16. He was a bit ahead of my time as a player, but he was a staple of what I grew up knowing as a pregame show. Former players today, who are working pregame shows, should thank those like Irv who came before and paved the way.

  17. Irv Cross always seemed like a class act. I enjoyed watching Irv and the gang on Sundays. Godspeed Irv.

  18. RIP, Mr. Cross. Everyone should ignore the thumbs down votes. Those doing so probably have no idea who Irv Cross was. I’ve learned some people just like to click the thumbs down icon.

  19. Irv , Phylis George , Brett Musslesberger and Jimmy Synder(the greek) were my intro to sunday football…take care

  20. Just a class guy all around. Rest In Peace Mr Cross. My thoughts and prayers are with the Cross Family.

  21. I am not creative enough with words to adequately describe what it was like as a kid to walk from 10:30 mass then tune into CBS and hear and see Irv before the 1pm kick-off – I am not sure if mass or the NFL Today was more of a religious experience.

  22. Willy A,
    One of the best comments I’ve ever read, LOL. Irv Cross was nice, classy, and told you what you needed to know about football. Jimmy talked gambling stuff, Phyllis did the human interest stuff, not sure what Brent did other than steer the show along. But together, today’s pregame shows look pretty weak.

  23. A legend. One of my earliest football memories is watching Irv on Sunday mornings. A guy who was great at two separate careers. RIP sir. You will be missed and remembered.

  24. Oh wow. Just a flood of great memories coming back to me from my childhood. My condolences to his family.

  25. Too young to remember him, unfortunately.

    But I do remember his Pro Set football card..

  26. RZIP.. I miss those “simpler” days of the NFL. A lot less “glitz” back then and a better game to watch.

  27. I remember Irv from his playing days with the Eagles in the 60’s – one good, and the rest, mostly bad, teams. A solid DB and a class act even then. As others have noted, went on to sent the standard for class and solid reporting with the NFL Today in the 70s and 80s. Condolences to the Cross family.

  28. Why are there so many “thumbs down” ratings on every comment for this article? I don’t understand. Did Irv Cross do or say something that has created all this ire from fans? A man’s life from an era before the internet is being celebrated and appreciated, and that’s cause for negativity and derision? What have we become as a culture?

    It’s so damn sad. Not Irv’s passing but the reaction to it on this space.

    Pre internet, strike that, preCABLE, these network pregame shows were the only place NFL talk took place. ESPN wasn’t even around yet.

  29. He was always a class act. I had no idea he played for the Eagles but I used to watch that show every Sunday. He did a great job staying objective. Because as an avid Eagles fan I had no idea he was a former Eagle. R.I.P. good sir!

  30. Ran into him in his later years several times in the St Paul area, and he was always such a nice and classy guy. So sorry to see this.

  31. What a great man and broadcaster he was. What I wouldn’t give for one hour of Irv and the NFL Today show vs. the abject buffoonery we’re subjected to by today’s pre-game shows. With the exception of a few good football guys, i.e….Louis Riddick, Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, Brian Griese, most might be better suited for some mindless reality TV show.

  32. struckgold49er says:
    February 28, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    RIP Irv Cross. While reading this story what I found a bit peculiar was the fact that after making the Pro Bowl in 1964 and 1965; In 1966, he was playing for a new team, The Rams. The Eagles traded a Pro Bowler?? Seems odd.
    ///////////////////////////////////////////
    Irv had a couple of concussions at that time and that could have had something to do with the trade .
    RIP to a special player , citizen and human being .

  33. Irv Cross on sideline, on the gridiron, in the broadcasting booth, and the rest of the earth were all better places because he walked on them. RIP.

  34. Irv was a part of my childhood watching The NFL Today on CBS. Lotta memories, RiP Mr. Cross.

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