Former NFL referee Red Cashion dies at 87

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

One of the NFL’s most famous officials, Red Cashion, died Sunday, Kenny Wiley of the Bryan-College Station Eagle reports. Cashion was 87.

Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted a few years ago that Cashion and Jerry Markbreit were the two best referees during Aikman’s playing days.

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Cashion became known for his first down call, enthusiastically drawing out his announcement.

Cashion has been a nominee as a contributor for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for all five years of the category.

He began officiating in 1952 while still a student at Texas A&M. Cashion worked junior high, B team, high school and college football for 20 years before the NFL hired him as a line judge. Four years later, in 1976, Cashion earned a promotion to referee.

He worked as the referee for two Super Bowls — XX and XXX — before retiring after the 1996 season.

During his 25 seasons in the NFL, Cashion officiated 18 postseason games, one Pro Bowl and almost 500 professional games.

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