"He was a dear friend of mine," Gifford said. "Our families spent a lot of time together. We all liked to travel, so we would take vacations together. We went to Europe and so other many places together. He was one of a kind."
On Meredith's playing days:
"He was a heck of a player. They won maybe one game his first year, then he helped turn them around and they wound up in the `Ice Bowl' against Green Bay in 1967. He was such a good athlete. A lot of people don't know that he also set a state high school scoring record in basketball."
On helping Meredith launch his broadcasting career:
"I interviewed him and we hit it off right away. We kept in touch with each other and became very good friends.
"I was trying to get Don into TV when he left the Cowboys. I remember him telling me how bored he was. In 1970, the head of ABC, Roone Arledge, was working on a new package of having football on Monday nights during primetime. I told him, `Why don't you talk to Don Meredith, he would do it.'
"He was so unique. From the first day in the booth he had no inhibitions about what he said or thought. A lot of color commentators today are inhibited, but not him. He wasn't mean, but he was critical when he had to be. He did a very good job."
On Meredith's life after MNF:
"He didn't seek the limelight after he left Monday Night Football. He and Susan moved to Sante Fe and enjoyed their life. Don didn't like being in the limelight. He would be amazed at all the attention he was getting now.
"He was such a wonderful guy who checked out a little bit early. We will all miss him."