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Original Dallas Cowboys player dies of heart attack

April 20, 1997

DALLAS (AP) _ Tom Franckhauser, a cornerback on the first Dallas Cowboys football team, died of a heart attack Thursday while on a business trip to Houston. He was 59.

Franckhauser was drafted from Purdue University by the Los Angeles Rams in 1959 and came to Dallas in 1960 to play on the new Dallas franchise under coach Tom Landry.

He returned the opening kickoff in the Cowboys’ first regular season game, making him the first Cowboy to touch the ball in an official contest.

After two seasons, Franckhauser went to the Minnesota Vikings, where he played in 1962 and 1963 until an injury cut short his career.

He worked briefly as a professional scout before becoming an insurance wholesaler, according to his fiancee, Jo Ann Hedrick of Rockwall, Texas.

``He had a gift for never saying the wrong thing. He was probably the kindest person I ever met,″ she said.

He is survived by two daughters, Deanne Hume of Austin and Lisa Glieber of Dallas; three brothers, Joe Franckhauser of Toledo, Ohio, Michael ranckhauser of Columbus, Ohio, and John Franckhauser of Chapel Hill, N.C.; a sister, Patricia Franckhauser Unroe of Steubenville, Ohio; and three grandchildren.

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