Dynasties don't happen without great players, coaches, front offices and assistants. On Monday, a key piece of the 1990s Cowboys passed away; former offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese.
He was 86-years-old.
The NFL world reacted to Zampese's passing across social media.
"Ernie Zampese passed away this morning at the age of 86, one of the most influential offensive coaches in NFL history," reported Chris Mortensen. "'Ernie was doing stuff in the 70's and the 80's that people today think are new and it isn't,' said Norv Turner. 'If Don Coryell were here today, he'd tell you.'"
"The amount of prominent players and coaches that Ernie Zampese impacted is absolutely immense," remarked Albert Breer. "RIP to a great one."
"Troy Aikman paid tribute on Instagram today to Ernie Zampese, the former Cowboys offensive coordinator who passed away at age 86. Zampese was OC for Cowboys’ fifth Super Bowl title during 1995 season and spent portion of career in San Diego on Air Coryell staff.," tweeted Michael Gehlken.
"Another legend has gone to heaven," said former Charger and color analyst Hank Bauer. "Ernie Zampese passed this morning. Blessed to have played for and coached with this legend! All-time best!"
Zampese was regarded as an innovator whose coaching career spanned four decades between the Chargers, Rams, Cowboys and Patriots.
Don Coryell called him football's best offensive coach and the late John Madden said that if he owned an NFL, he'd want Zampese on the sideline. Telling his old partner Pat Summerall:
“I think that he is probably the top offensive brain in football today. If I were an owner I would hire Ernie Zampese to be the head coach.”