- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW ORLEANS -- Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach said he hasn't spoken to former teammate, and fellow Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, but said the retired superstar running back complained of health issues a year ago.
Dorsett was diagnosed as having signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition many scientists say is caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia, doctors told ESPN.
Dorsett underwent brain scans and clinical evaluations during the past three months at UCLA.
"He was telling me he was having some issues and there was some confusion at times but I didn’t know how serious it was," Staubach said prior to the Cowboys-Saints game on Sunday night. "I didn’t realize, I guess he went to brain health and started doing some studies over there, it’s hopefully (in) such an early stage he will hang in there for a while and hopefully they will be able to do something about concussions. Some of the medicine they say slows it down but I think the best thing is exercise and staying busy and I feel bad about Tony. Tony's young, he's 59."
Staubach had several concussions during his NFL career and said he was knocked out six times.
"Yeah you always worry, the studies they’re doing now, there’s still uncertainty as far as the really affects on concussions," said Staubach, who served in the Navy and was attending the game as part of the USAA's Salute to Service campaign. "I think that they know there is some affects that lead in now they’re saying dementia, Parkinson, ALS and things. I think there are other doctors that are still saying there are a lot more studies that need to be done to truly see how concussions still affect your health."