Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles

Irv Cross, former NFL cornerback and legendary broadcaster, passes away at 81

Former Pro Bowl cornerback and legendary CBS sportscaster Irv Cross passed away  on Sunday at the age of 81.

The NFL and sports media worlds received sad news on Sunday evening in regards to a former Pro Bowl defensive back and a legendary sportscaster.

Irv Cross, former Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams cornerback and CBS Sports commentator, passed away on Sunday near his home in Minnesota at the age of 81. The Eagles announced the news that evening.

Cross was a former seventh-round selection by the Eagles out of Northwestern in the 1961 NFL Draft. In his first initial stint with the Eagles, Cross made the Pro Bowl in two consecutive seasons (1964-65). After the 1965 campaign, Cross was traded to the Rams, where he spent a total of three seasons with the team. In 1969, Cross returned to Philadelphia as a player and defensive backs coach and remained in the later role in 1970 before announcing his retirement.

In his nine-year career, Cross tallied 22 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries, eight fumbles and two defensive touchdowns.

Cross became a legend for CBS Sports

After his retirement from the NFL, Cross was hired by CBS Sports in 1971 to become the first full-time African-American sports analyst. Cross was later named a member of The NFL Today pre-game show in 1975 alongside Brent Musburger and Phyllis George. Cross would remain with CBS Sports until 1994.

In 2009, the Pro Football Hall of Fame rewarded Cross with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, becoming the first African-American sportscaster to receive the honor.

We would like to send our condolences to Cross’ family, as well as his friends and colleagues, at this time.

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