Wilson passed away at home in Coppell, according to a release from the Cowboys. He was 60.
Wilson was known to be diabetic.
He played with five different NFL teams during a 19-year career that spanned from 1981 to 1999. He served as quarterbacks coach for the Cowboys (2000-02 and 2007-17) and for the Chicago Bears (2004-06).
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones offered his thoughts on Wilson’s passing in a statement released by the team.
“Wade was a cherished and valued member of our organization as a player, a coach and a wonderful friend,” Jones said. “His contributions began as a member of a Super Bowl winning team and carried on through to helping guide the development and growth of both Tony Romo and Dak Prescott.”
Wilson was born in Commerce and played at East Texas State University. The Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the eighth round in 1981. During his 11 seasons with the Vikings, they went to the playoffs three times, including the 1987 NFC Championship Game. He also played for the Falcons (1992), Saints (93-94) and Raiders (98-99). He was a backup quarterback for the Cowboys from 1995-97, including the Super Bowl XXX championship team.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett offered his condolences to Wilson’s family in a released statement.
“Wade was a great teammate, a fantastic coach and a dear friend to so many in our organization and throughout the NFL for over 35 years. I am forever grateful for his friendship. He had such a positive impact on me as a player, as a coach and as a person during our time together,” Garrett said. “He was smart, funny and had an incredible way of bringing out the best in everybody. He had a selfless attitude and always put the team first. I feel so fortunate to be among the many whose lives were made better by Wade Wilson.”
In 1988, Wilson led the NFC with a 91.5 quarterback rating while throwing for 2,746 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
“This is a sad day for all members of the Cowboys family as we have lost a truly great man,” Jones said. “Our thoughts are with his family, loved ones and all of the lives that he touched with his warm demeanor and his caring persona. Wade Wilson will be missed greatly—and never forgotten.”