Ron Springs, the father of former Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs, passed away on Thursday. He was 54.
Ron Springs, a former NFL running back with the Dallas Cowboys, had been in a coma since 2007 after suffering from diabetes-related complications.
In March 2007, Ron had received a kidney donated by former Cowboys teammate Everson Walls. But in October 2007, he slipped into a coma. That happened while he was undergoing a surgical procedure to remove a cyst from his arm.
Shawn, who joined the Redskins in 2004, played another two years in Washington but his thoughts were always with his father who was hospitalized in Dallas.
During that time, Shawn would often say that playing football provided sanctuary from the difficult situation his father was going through.
"Football is where I can get away from the things that are going on in my life," he said in a November 2007 interview. "In between the lines, all I think about is football and it's kind of fun. You can disappear for a little bit."
Shawn grew up in Silver Spring, Md., and attended Springbrook High School. A first-round draft pick in 1997, he played seven years for the Seattle Seahawks before coming home to Washington,.
Ron played eight seasons in the NFL, including 1979-84 with the Cowboys. He totaled 2,519 yards and 28 touchdowns on 694 carries.