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Steeler HoF Ernie Stautner, dead at 80... (1 Viewer)



DALLAS (AP) - Ernie Stautner, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers and longtime Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, died Thursday in a nursing home, his wife said. He was 80.

Stautner, who went to nine Pro Bowls with the Steelers and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, had Alzheimer's disease since 1998, Jill Stautner said. He died in a home in Carbondale, Colo.

For years the chiseled Stautner, undersized for his position when he starred during the 1950s, was an assistant under Dallas coach Tom Landry. He counted former Cowboys Randy White and Bob Lilly among his closest friends.

"He loved all those guys, he loved them all," Jill Stautner said. "If they were willing to work, he loved them all."

Stautner coached the defensive line for the Cowboys from 1966-72 and also served as the defensive coordinator from 1973-88. Stautner was with the Steelers for his entire 14-year career, never playing on a winning team but establishing a reputation for a strong work ethic on a punishing Steelers defense.

Stautner was born in Germany and immigrated with his family to Albany, N.Y., when he was 3. After serving in the Marines, Stautner played at Boston College and was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 1950 NFL draft.

Survivors include his wife, five daughters and six grandchildren.

Services will be in Lewisville, Texas.


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