Tony Hutson, a former Cowboys guard from the late 1990s, died in early February at the age of 49, according to an online obituary. No cause of death was mentioned in the obituary. "Our 1996 Dallas Cowboys rookies had a special bond," one of his teammates Randall Godfrey wrote in a Facebook post.
"He made several trips to Valdosta to help with my annual football camps. I cherished every moment that he had me crying after laughing so hard." Godfrey added, "You caught us off guard with this one. Take your rest my brother. Gone too soon."
Sad Demise of a Star
"He loved giving back to the community and dealing with kids. He was just a fun person to be around. He kept everybody laughing," Godfrey told the New York Post confirming Huston's sudden death.
Hutson excelled as an offensive tackle at MacArthur High School in Texas and continued his football journey at Kilgore College before making the transfer to Northeastern Oklahoma State University, the outlet reported.
Hutson earned recognition as an NAIA All-American in both 1994 and 1995. Unfortunately, he went undrafted in 1996 after the Raiders discovered a benign tumor on his right lung during a physical examination.
"My first thought was I would never get to play football anymore," Hutson said in 1996. "But then I thought there's more to life than football. I just wanted to live my life. I talked to my mom about it and prayed about it."
Following the successful removal of the tumor, the Cowboys signed Tony Hutson as a free agent. "I've got good, quick feet. For the technique I don't have, I give great effort," Hutson said.
In 1996, Tony Hutson spent time on the practice squad, and he faced further setbacks in the 1997 training camp due to wrist surgery, causing him to miss a significant portion of the camp.
However, due to injuries affecting the Cowboys' offensive line, Hutson made his debut late in the year and even started a game against Washington, contributing to a dramatic 17-14 win.
"I was so emotional," Hutson said at the time. "I just kept thinking, 'Don't let anything happen to Troy [Aikman]. Don't do anything wrong.' I was nervous at first and made a mistake early but after that I just took care of business."
"It's my first start, millions of people watching, and it's America's Team. I had to perform right. Words can't describe what it was like out there."
Hutson stayed with the Cowboys until the end of the 1999 season. He later had a brief stint, playing in three games with Washington in 2000. In 2001, despite being with the Raiders, he was released before the regular season due to challenges posed by a triceps injury.