Former Cowboys OL Chris Schultz Dies at Age 61

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2021

The 50-yard-line and Dallas Cowboys logo is seen on the field before an NFC wild-card NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019.(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Roger Steinman/Associated Press

Former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Chris Schultz, who won the 1991 Grey Cup with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, died Thursday at the age of 61.

Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press reported Schultz, who worked on TSN's CFL coverage after his playing career, suffered a heart attack.

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie released a statement saying the Ontario native's passing "leaves a giant-sized hole in the CFL family":

"We called Chris Schultz the Big Man for so many reasons beyond the obvious. He had a big personality. He could make you think as easily as he could make you laugh. He had a big presence on CFL on TSN, breaking down each game with incredible passion, insight and joy.

"He had a football career so big it included both Canada's Grey Cup and America's Team. But most of all, my teammate and friend had a big heart. It was oversized even for his frame.

"It was so clearly on display in his tireless work on behalf of Purolator Tackle Hunger. When he spoke publicly about working at and with food banks, and what it meant to him and to families in need, Chris' sincerity and empathy moved everyone. Those moments not only made the program stronger. They made everyone who experienced them want to be better, to be more like Chris."

Schultz was selected by Toronto in the first round of the 1982 CFL draft. He opted to remain at the University of Arizona for his senior season and was then taken by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 1983 NFL draft.

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He appeared in 21 games, including eight starts, across three years in Dallas. He missed the entire 1984 season because of a knee injury.

Schultz returned to Canada in 1986 to play for the Argos. Along with winning the championship, he was selected as a CFL All-Star twice across nine years with Toronto.

He was voted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame as part of its 2016 class.

The 6'8" former lineman transitioned to broadcasting in 1998, and fellow TSN broadcaster Rod Smith said it didn't take long to see he'd be a strong on-air talent.

"I remember doing this audition with him and immediately being impressed by not only his knowledge and his passion but just his presence. He was a big man with a big presence," Smith told Davidson. "And I could tell instantly how good he was going to be on television."

Schultz also covered the NFL for TSN.