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Darris McCord, former Detroit Lions star, dies at 80

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- Darris McCord, a member of the Detroit Lions' "Fearsome Foursome" that terrorized NFL offenses, died Wednesday. He was 80.

The Lions said in a release that McCord died at home in Bloomfield Hills. The team didn't give a cause of death, but the Detroit Free Press reported that McCord was diagnosed in March with pancreatic cancer.

"Darris will not only be remembered as a cornerstone to the Lions' great Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s, but also as someone who made many positive contributions to the Detroit community over the last five decades," Lions president Tom Lewand said.

McCord was selected in the third round by Detroit in the 1955 draft from the University of Tennessee, where he was an All-American. He spent his entire 13-year career in Detroit and was a member of the Lions' 1957 NFL championship team. He also played in the 1958 Pro Bowl.

McCord played left end on a line that included NFL great Alex Karras at left tackle, Roger Brown at right tackle and Sam Williams at right end. McCord had three interceptions and recovered nine fumbles in 168 games, mostly as a defensive end. He missed only two games in his career.

"Darris was one of the really good guys," said Mike Lucci, who played for the Lions in 1965-67.

Lucci said McCord never seemed to be in a hurry when getting to huddles. "But, it was amazing how many times it was him that got to the quarterback first or the one who was leaping over a block," Lucci said.

McCord is survived by his wife, Helen; two daughters, Vickie and Kelli; and a son, Mike.

-- AP

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