Redskins plan to honor longtime beat reporter Rich Tandler

Football fans watch the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins plan to honor longtime reporter Rich Tandler when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Tandler, who began covering the team as a blogger in 2004, died unexpectedly Tuesday at age 63. NBC Sports Washington, where Tandler worked since 2011, confirmed his death Wednesday.

A team spokesman says the Redskins will put a plaque at Tandler’s regular seat in the press box at FedEx Field and keep it empty. There will be a moment of silence for Tandler before the Cowboys game.

Owner Dan Snyder says Tandler’s “dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts.”

Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted: “I am so sad to hear about the sudden passing of Rich Tandler. As a fan of the Redskins, I got to become good friends with Rich. He was a great person and will be missed.”

Tandler managed a Panera Bread restaurant in his late 40s when he started one of the first Redskins blogs and broke into sports journalism. He wrote three books about the Redskins.

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