Gent had an unlikely five-season career playing for Dallas before penning the story loosely based on the Cowboys. It later became a movie, nestled between comedy and tragedy, showing the drinking and drugging by thinly disguised football characters.
Gent, who died Friday at his boyhood home in western Michigan, seemed pleased with how the movie turned out but usually didn't watch it years later, his son said Saturday. Gent went on to write several more books.
Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.