Tony Hutson, a Dallas Cowboys lineman in the late 1990s, died in early February at the age of 49, according to an online obituary.

The reason of death was not provided.

“Our 1996 Dallas Cowboys rookies had a special bond,” teammate Randall Godfrey wrote in a Facebook post. “He made several trips to Valdosta to assist with my annual football camps.” I appreciated every time when he made me cry after laughing so hard.”

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Godfrey continued, “You caught us off surprise with this one. My brother, get some rest. “Gone too soon.”

He also told the Post that “he enjoyed giving back to the community and working with children.” He was simply a fun person to be around. “He kept everyone laughing.”

Hutson was a talented offensive tackle at MacArthur High School in Texas and attended Kilgore College before transferring to Northeastern Oklahoma State University.

Hutson was recognized as an NAIA All-American in 1994 and 1995.

He went undrafted in 1996 because the Raiders discovered a small tumor on his right lung during a physical.

“My first thought was that I’d never get to play football again,” Hutson remarked in 1996. “But I realized there’s more to life than football. I simply wanted to live my life. I spoke with my mother about it and prayed about it.

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After surgery to remove the tumor, the Cowboys signed him as a free agent.

“I have good, quick feet. I make a concerted attempt to compensate for the lack of technique,” Hutson stated.

He spent 1996 on the practice squad and missed most of 1997 training camp due to wrist surgery.

However, due to Cowboys line injuries, he made his debut late in the season and started a game against Washington, which ended in a stunning 17-14 victory.

“I was so emotional,” Hutson admitted at the time. “I kept thinking, ‘Don’t let anything happen to Troy [Aikman].'” Do not do anything incorrect. I was apprehensive at first and made a mistake, but after that, I just got things done.”

“It’s my first start, millions are watching, and it’s America’s Team. I have to perform well. Words cannot express what it was like out there.