NFL continues to react to death of Al Davis

The NFL continues to react today to the passing of visionary owner, general manager and coach Al Davis, who died this morning at 82.

The maverick behind the Oakland Raiders organization might not have had a long list of allies in the NFL, but over the decades he earned the respect of so many for his “Commitment to Excellence.”

"In my eyes, so much of his legacy will be defined by the loyalty he had for the men who played for the Raiders and the love that they had for him," Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement released by the club. "That was a bond that extended beyond the playing years and lasted lifetimes. His contributions and expertise were inspiring at every level--coach, general manager, owner and commissioner. There was no element of the game of professional football for which Al did not enjoy a thorough and complete level of knowledge and passion.

"He welcomed me and my family to the NFL 23 years ago and was a trusted friend for all of our time in professional football. We will miss him deeply and we are thinking of [his son] Mark and [his wife] Carol at this difficult time."

Across the Bay from Oakland, they were also mourning the loss of Davis.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Al Davis,” 49ers owner Denise DeBartolo York said in a statement released by the team. “One of my fondest memories of Al is a dinner we shared many years ago. During that meal, he presented my father with a very special opportunity to purchase the San Francisco 49ers. In recent years, we were pleased to spend time with Al as our guest in the Owners’ Suite at Candlestick Park while our two teams met on the field. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.”

In New York, they had short comments that did a good job of summing up Davis.

“Al Davis had a brilliant football mind and his teams set a standard for excellence for many years,” Giants owner John Mara said.

Added fellow Giants owner Steve Tisch: "The Raiders personified Al Davis. Al is the Raiders."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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