FRISCO, Texas – The hits keep coming in 2020, as the NFL lost a legendary figure on Monday.
Word surfaced late Monday afternoon that Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary pass rusher Kevin Greene had died.
Greene was a fixture in the NFL throughout the 1980s and 1990s, as he blossomed from a fifth-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Rams to become No. 3 all-time in sacks in league history.
As might be expected from a man who spent 15 years in the NFL as a player and seven years as a coach, Greene left a wide and lasting impression across the league – including with this Cowboys coaching staff.
Greene spent five seasons on Mike McCarthy's coaching staff in Green Bay, where he worked under his former coach Dom Capers in teaching the 3-4 defensive scheme he excelled in as a player.
McCarthy was asked for his thoughts on Greene during his Monday evening press conference, and he reflected fondly.
"Obviously, very sad news that we've received here in the last couple hours. Obviously, for his wife Tara and Gavin and Gabby – it takes your breath away. I always admired Kevin as a football player, and really the reality of it is he approached coaching and he approached fatherhood and all of that the same way. He was as driven a person as I've ever had the opportunity to work with. He worked with me up there for five years, and he was the same guy every day. He brought tremendous energy to the office, and he loved the game of football. Obviously, his passion as a player and as a coach – he's touched a lot of people."
Many members of McCarthy's Cowboys staff, such as Joe Philbin, Rob Davis, Al Harris, Scott McCurley and Scott Tolzien, worked with Greene in Green Bay. That only emphasizes the loss.
"The guys that knew Kevin on staff here, we've been sharing some of our stories and our time together with him," McCarthy said. "Like I said, It was very sad to get that news here earlier today."
Green tallied 734 tackles and 160 sacks across 228 NFL games, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. He leaves behind his wife, Tara, and two children, Gavin and Gabrielle.