Former Vikings quarterback Wade Wilson died Friday at his home in Coppell, Texas, on his 60th birthday.
The Dallas Cowboys announced Wilson’s death but did not give a cause. Wilson served as the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach from 2000 to 2002 and again in the same role from 2007 to 2017.
The Associated Press reported that a 911 call was made from Wilson’s home, where the caller said Wilson was unresponsive and CPR was in progress. Emergency personnel determined upon arrival that Wilson was dead.
Wilson was an eighth-round pick of the Vikings in 1981 out of East Texas State and spent 19 seasons in the NFL, playing for five teams from 1981 through 1999. Wilson took over as the Vikings’ starting quarterback in 1987 after Tommy Kramer was injured and helped lead Minnesota to the NFC title game. The Vikings lost 17-10 on Jan. 17, 1988 as Darrin Nelson was unable to catch Wilson’s pass on fourth down from the Washington 6-yard line late in the game.
RIP Wade, great player, friend and teammate. We will miss you.
— Tommy Kramer (@Kramer9Tommy) February 1, 2019
Wilson, who also went on to play for Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas and Oakland, spent 11 seasons with the Vikings. In 14 games and 10 starts in 1988, Wilson threw for 2,746 yards and 15 touchdowns as he was selected to the Pro Bowl. He played in only six games, with four starts, in 1990 and appeared in five games, all starts, in 1991. Wilson was released in the summer of 1992 by the Vikings.
He reached a Super Bowl in 1995, serving as Troy Aikman’s backup on the Dallas team that won the championship. Wilson finished his career with 17,283 passing yards, 99 touchdown passes and 102 interceptions.
Sad news today as we lost a teammate far too soon. Wade Wilson was my backup from 1995-‘97 and my QB coach my last season in 2000. Prayers for his children and family. #RIP
— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) February 1, 2019
In addition to his time as an assistant coach with the Cowboys, Wilson also was the quarterbacks coach for Chicago from 2004 to 2006.