Nov 11, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; A Vince Lombardi Trophy at the NFL Frankfurt Experience. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A member of the Dallas Cowboys’ 1993 Super Bowl-winning team and one of the most popular players in NFL history is fighting for his life.

Speaking with Cleveland Magazine, Bernie Kosar revealed that he is suffering from liver failure and has Parkinson’s disease. The 60-year-old Kosar told the outlet that he was placed on a list for a liver transplant this past spring and that doctors have told him that there is a more than 90 percent chance that he will need a new liver.

Kosar, who played for the Cleveland Browns from 1985-1993, before being released and winning Super Bowl XXVIII as a member of the Cowboys, said that he was hospitalized for several days leading up to this past year’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas. The symptoms of his liver disease fluctuated, but ultimately took a toll on the 1987 Pro Bowl selection.

“I wish you could have seen me three months ago,’’ he told Cleveland Magazine. “Actually, maybe not, because I looked like death. I felt like death. E. Coli blood poisoning. Heart trouble. And I really thought I needed the liver transplant ASAP. I was in bad shape.’’

As he awaits a potential transplant, Kosar says that he’s relying on his diet and a positive mindset to aid his recovery.

“I strongly believe in the power of positive thinking,’’ he said. “For me, it’s not just a slogan. I believe that positive energy can be manifested in our brains, and I love to live in the space of positivity. I want to think about things that are helpful. It sounds like I’m getting on a soap box here, but I visualize good health. It’s not so much that I’m trying to sell it to myself, or that I’m in denial, as it is choosing to be positive. Because everybody’s got something. We’ve all got health issues to some degree, we all have bumps in the road.’’

A native of Boardman, Ohio, Kosar starred at the University of Miami (Fla.) before manipulating the NFL’s supplemental draft to force his way to the Browns. In addition to the Browns and Cowboys, he played for the Miami Dolphins as a backup to Dan Marino from 1994-1996 before retiring.

In the years since, the national championship-winning quarterback has remained an active member of the Cleveland community. He recently filed a lawsuit against a local media company, which he said forced him to place a ceremonial bet that resulted in him being fired from his radio job with the Browns at the end of the 2022 season.

[Cleveland Magazine]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.