Former Washington defensive back Brig Owens dies at 79

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Former NFL defensive back Brig Owens died Tuesday, according to the Military Bowl Foundation. He was 79.

The Cowboys drafted Owens in the seventh round in 1965 out of the University of Cincinnati, where he starred at quarterback. The Cowboys converted him to safety, though he didn’t play a down as a rookie.

In 1966, Dallas traded Owens to Washington.

He played 12 seasons in Washington, and his 36 interceptions rank second in team history behind only Darrell Green. The franchise inducted him into its Ring of Fame in 2012 and named him one of the 80 best players in team history.

Owens was a defensive captain, played on the 1972 team that lost to the undefeated Dolphins in Super Bowl VII and he scored two defensive touchdowns in Washington’s 72-41 win over the Giants in 1966 in the highest-scoring team in NFL history.

Owens, who was Black, also made NFL history when he roomed with tight end Jerry Smith at training camp and for road games beginning in 1966. They were the NFL’s first interracial roommates.

Owens, who began law school while still in the NFL, created a youth development program in Washington called Super Leaders, according to The Washington Post. He also was listed as the vice president of Bennett Group, a real estate development firm.