Cross went on to play football at Northwestern University and then nine seasons in the NFL as a defensive back with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams.
Getting his start in radio and television in Philadelphia, Cross caught the interest of CBS executives, who hired him for "The NFL Today.” Musburger handled the news and highlights, Cross the "Xs and Os” and George, the 1971 Miss America from Denton, Texas, the personality pieces.
"The three of us, with Brent, Phyllis and I having those specific roles, fell into a niche that worked pretty well,” he said.
After leaving broadcasting, Cross served as athletic director at Idaho State and Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.
As director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, he is now helping to recruit mentors for children and providing encouragement, just as Ruth Ewing had given him.
"This program is absolutely dynamite,” he said. "We can literally see kids lives turned around.”