UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    +52.48 (+0.69%)
  • FTSE 250

    +299.51 (+1.57%)
  • AIM

    +4.81 (+0.65%)

    -0.0013 (-0.11%)

    +0.0029 (+0.23%)
  • Bitcoin GBP

    -156.93 (-0.32%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    0.00 (0.00%)
  • S&P 500

    +40.81 (+0.80%)
  • DOW

    +90.99 (+0.23%)

    +1.55 (+1.98%)

    +36.90 (+1.80%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    +744.63 (+1.90%)

    +78.00 (+0.47%)
  • DAX

    +56.88 (+0.32%)
  • CAC 40

    +6.74 (+0.09%)

Former Dallas Cowboy Tony Hutson Dead at 49: ‘Gone Too Soon’

“I cherished every moment that he had me crying after laughing so hard," one Cowboys teammate wrote in a social media tribute

<p>PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty</p> Tony Hutson


Tony Hutson

Former Dallas Cowboy offensive lineman Tony Hutson has died. He was 49 years old.

Hutson’s death was announced through an obituary published last Friday. No cause of death was given.

The former NFL player was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1974 and grew up in Houston, Texas. He went on to play six seasons in the NFL, including four with the Dallas Cowboys at the beginning of his career.

“Tony was very humble [and] had the kindest heart and the most beautiful soul,” Marlo Burks, who identified themselves as Hutson’s cousin, wrote in response to his obituary. “Tony loved his family with every ounce of his soul.”

A wake and funeral are scheduled for later this week.

Hutson played football for two years at Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, before transferring to Northeastern Oklahoma State University to finish out his collegiate career. The 6-foot-3 lineman was named an All-American in his junior and senior years at Northeastern Oklahoma State before declaring for the NFL Draft.

Related: Ronald Powell, Former New Orleans Saints Linebacker, Dead at 32: 'Cherished by So Many'

<p>Stephen Dunn/Allsport via Getty</p> Tony Hutson

Stephen Dunn/Allsport via Getty

Tony Hutson

However, Hutson was not drafted in the 1996 NFL Draft after several teams were scared off from selecting him following a benign tumor that was discovered in his right lung, according to The Oklahoman.

“My first thought was I would never get to play football anymore,” Hutson told the newspaper that year. “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.”

Related: NFL Reporter Shares Death of 2-Year-Old Daughter After Leukemia Diagnosis: 'She Deserved the World'

Hutson’s fortunes soon turned in his favor. He had the tumor successfully removed and was promptly signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an unrestricted free agent before the season began, fulfilling his dream of making it to the NFL. Hutson’s job on the offensive line was to protect Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The rookie players on the 1996 Cowboys team were particularly close, according to former teammate Randall Godfrey, who mourned Hutson’s loss in a social media post earlier this month.

“Lost one of my favorite teammates and great friends in Tony Hutson last night,” Godfrey wrote on February 4. “Please keep the Hutson family in prayer. Our 1996 Dallas Cowboys rookies had a special bond. He made several trips to Valdosta to help with my annual football camps.”

Godfrey added: “I cherished every moment that he had me crying after laughing so hard. One of my fishing buddies and much more. I just knew we would be connecting soon. You caught us off guard with this one. Take your rest my bother. Gone too soon.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.