Former Cowboys running back Ron Springs died Thursday after almost four years in a coma. Springs, 54, died of a heart attack at Medical Center Dallas.
Springs never regained consciousness after going into cardiac arrest and losing oxygen during an operation to remove a cyst from his elbow in October 2007.
"Ron's life will always be remembered by the joy and laughter that he brought to others and the courage and toughness he displayed until the end," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "Regardless of the circumstances, he always had a smile for everyone. The Dallas Cowboys have lost a wonderful member of our family, and we share our thoughts and prayers with his family."
Springs received a kidney from former teammate Everson Walls in March 2007 to save his life.
Springs played for the Cowboys from 1979-84. His last two years in the league were spent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He rushed for 2,519 yards, had 2,259 receiving yards and scored 28 touchdowns in his career.