"Don Meredith was one of the most colorful characters in NFL history. He was star on the field who became an even bigger star on television," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "He brought joy to football fans, from his play in historic NFL games like the Ice Bowl to his great personality that helped launch the success of Monday Night Football."
According to Meredith's wife, a private graveside ceremony is being planned, and family members are traveling to Santa Fe.
"He was the best there was," she said, describing him as kind, warm and funny. "We lost a good one."
Alongside Howard Cosell, Meredith was an original member of ABC's "Monday Night Football" broadcast team in the early 70s. His colorful commentary included the catch phrase "Turn out the lights, the party's over."
Before making it big in TV, Meredith was a star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys throughout the 60s.
While he never led the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, Meredith was one of the franchise's first stars.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.