NFC East: Bob Ackles

Former Cowboys exec Ackles dies

July, 7, 2008
7/07/08
8:10
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel Bob Ackles died of an apparent heart attack Sunday morning. He was 69.

Ackles served under the late Tex Schramm from 1986-'92 and helped oversee the drafting of The Triplets -- Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. He stayed on when Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry in 1989, but was fired in 1992 to make way for the new owner's Arkansas buddy, Larry Lacewell.

Ackles is credited with coming up with innovative ways to evaluate draft-day trades. Following the Cowboys, he worked for the Cardinals, Eagles, Dolphins and the XFL's Las Vegas Outlaws.

Born in Canada, he cut his teeth in the CFL and helped lead the BC Lions to prominence. He returned to Vancouver in 2002 and became the CEO and president of the Lions, who won the Grey Cup in 2006. Ackles started out as a water boy with the organization in 1953 (his autobiography is called "The Water Boy") and worked his way to the top.

He left his mark on both the NFL and CFL, but his legacy will be strongest in Canada, where his son, Scott, is now president of the Calgary Stampeders.

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