Longtime Cowboys Assistant Coach Joe Avezzano Dies: Joe Avezzano, the special teams coach of the Dallas Cowboys during their three Super Bowl wins of the '90s, died in Italy Thursday of a heart attack. He was 68. Avezzano, a popular presence in Dallas known affectionately as "Coach Joe" even after leaving the Cowboys in 2002, had gone to Italy two months ago to lead a team in the Italian Football League. The job gave him a chance to visit Avezzano, Italy. "I am the long lost heir to the throne," Avezzano joked before his departure. "They've been looking for me in Italy for years. Now they've found me and I'm going back and I will return to Avezzano." Cowboys special teamer Bill Bates once was shocked to see blood trickling from Coach Joe's forehead on the sidelines, an injury he refused to explain until after the game so it wouldn't become a distraction. "Don't worry about it, but you head-butted me," he told Bates in the locker room.