Dallas Cowboys Timeline
by Paul Heckmann, Executive Director. Memories Incorporated
Credit given to:
Dallas Morning News, DallasCowboys.com, Pro Football Reference, Texas State Historical Society, ESPN, Wiki,
a innumerable number of Cowboy fan sites, Dallas Public Library, and several hardcore Cowboy fans.
This is a ‘living document’ and will be updated as new information is proven and added
- Clint Murchison signs Don Meredith to a 5 year personal service contract with his marine company Tecon to lock him up for the proposed Dallas Steers franchise. In November 1959, they also signed Don Perkins to a personal-services contract for a $1,500 bonus and a $10,000 salary
- The Steers name was changed to the Dallas Rangers after a short time.
- Murchison doesn’t have the votes against the powerful Redskins franchise that have the South locked up.
- Clint and Bedford Wynne find out “Hail to the Redskins” is not owned by Washington, and in a nutshell purchase it and trades it to the Skins for their vote.
- The founding investors were Clint Murchison, Jr. (45%), John D. Murchison (45%), Toddie Lee and Bedford Wynne (Director and Secretary) (5%) and William R. Hawn (5%).
- Clint Murchison Jr. becomes the new team’s majority owner. His first order of business was to hire Tex Schramm as General Manager and Gil Brandt as Player Personnel Director
- December 22, 1959 Clint Murchison hires Tom Landry as Head Coach
- January 28, 1960. Dallas Rangers awarded NFL Franchise for the astronomical sum of $600,000
- March 13 1960. Dallas Rangers expansion draft (regular draft was in November) Each of the 12 NFL teams had to submit a list of 9 players. Dallas could only choose 3 of the 9 players. They chose:
– Baltimore Colts: RB L.G. Dupre, P/WR Dave Sherer, DE Ray Krouse
– Chicago Bears: DT Don Healy, RB Jack Johnson, RB Pete Johnson
– Cleveland Browns: WR Frank Clarke, RB Leroy Bolden, RB Ed Modzelewski
– Detroit Lions: WR Jim Doran, C Charlie Ane, LB Gene Cronin
– Green Bay Packers: RB Don McIlenny, DE Nate Borden, S Bill Butler
– Los Angeles Rams: CB Tom Franckhauser, T Bob Fry, G Duane Putnam
– New York Giants: QB Don Heinrich, G Buzz Guy, G Al Barry
– Philadelphia Eagles: TE Dick Bielski, T Jerry DeLucca, LB Bill Striegel
– Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Ray Mathews, DT/T Ray Fisher, RB Bobby Luna
– San Francisco 49ers: LB Jerry Tubbs, WR Fred Dugan, DE John Gonzaga
– St Louis Cardinals: DT Ed Husmann, LB Jack Patera, T Bobby Cross
– Washington Redskins: LB Tom Braatz, C Joe Nicely, RB Doyle Nix
– At this time the NFL also assigned the rights to 1960 NFL draft picks Don Meredith (who had been drafted by the Chicago Bears) and Don Perkins (drafted by the Baltimore Colts) to the Cowboys for a couple of future draft picks. Dallas had to give their third-round and ninth-round choices in the 1962 NFL draft to the Bears and Colts respectively.
- March 13 1960. Dallas Rangers expansion draft (regular draft was in November) Each of the 12 NFL teams had to submit a list of 9 players. Dallas could only choose 3 of the 9 players. They chose:
- March 19, 1960 – Rangers officially changed their name to the Cowboys. They had planned on using Dallas Rangers, but the baseball team in the area decided not to disband and since they wanted a clear and separate identity.
- After not being able to participate in the 1960 NFL draft during their inaugural year of existence, the Dallas Cowboys traded their first round (who became future 4x Pro Bowler Norm Snead) and sixth round (#72-Joe Krakoski) draft choices in the 1961 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins in exchange for Eddie LeBaron, convincing him to come out of retirement to become the franchise’s first starting quarterback. He started 10 of 12 games in 1960, with rookie Don Meredith and Don Heinrich starting the other two. He also scored the Cowboys’ first-ever touchdown in their first exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers, on August 6 in Seattle. He set a record for the shortest touchdown pass in league history, with his throw to receiver Dick Bielski from the 2-inch line against the Redskins on October 9, 1960.
“When I took the job in 1960, I wasn’t worried in the least, mainly because I didn’t plan to stay in football. I had earned a business degree at Texas and had just added a degree in industrial engineering at Houston. I felt it was just a matter of time before I found a good job.”
—Tom Landry, Sporting News, 8/15/81
April 1960: Cowboys set up headquarters at 4425 N. Central Expressway on the second floor from the first-floor tenant Dallas Automobile Club. The Cowboys’ box office is on the first floorst season-ticket prices were $27.60 for six games.
Second-floor workers consisted of general manager Tex Schramm, Brandt, coach Tom Landry, three assistant coaches, a public relations director, a couple of secretaries and a receptionist.
July 9, 1960: Rookie training camp in Oregon starts
Cowboys held the first part of regular training camp at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. The second half of camp was at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, a site handpicked by Milwaukee native Brandt which turned into a disaster as it hadn’t been updated in decades and the rooms were built for youngsters, not very large men
1960-62 seasons: Cowboys primarily practice at Burnett Field, home of minor league baseball’s Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers; The offense met in the first-base clubhouse, the defense in the third-base clubhouse. The training room consisted of a couple of tables and ice tubs crammed into the stadium’s women’s restroom.
Some practices are held at DISD-owned Cobb Stadium when Burnett floods, which technically makes it the Cowboys second practice field
1960 Season. Ticket sales are slow. “The league has come a long, long way from the days when we used to pay players $5,000 a year and didn’t pay till Tuesday to make sure the checks cleared.” Gil Brandt
Sept 10 1960. Cowboys play first game in their history at Cotton Bowl.
Tom Franckhauser becomes the first Cowboy to ever touch the ball, taking the opening kickoff, which he also did in their preseason.
1960-1971: Cowboys use Cotton Bowl for NFL games
Cowboys end 1960 with no wins and a single tie, 0-11-1
- Training camp moved to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota
- Cowboys add a box office at 1509 Elm Street, tickets can also be purchased at Reynolds-Penland and Jas. K. Wilson stores.
|1961||1||Bob Lilly HOF||13||DT||TCU|
|1961||2||E.J. Holub||16||LB||Texas Tech|
|1961||3||Stew Barber||30||T||Penn St.|
|1961||7||Art Gilmore||86||B||Oregon St.|
|1961||14||Billy Shaw HOF||184||G||Georgia Tech|
|1961||15||Julius Varnado||198||T||San Francisco St.|
|1961||19||Lynn Hoyem||254||G||Long Beach St.|
|1961||20||Jerry Morgan||268||B||Iowa St.|
- Cowboys owner Clint Murchison Jr. buys property at Yale Boulevard and North Central Expressway from underneath the AFL’s Dallas Texans which included a practice field and field house.
- The Texans are forced to move to a new field a few blocks away for the 1962 season while the Cowboys move to their 3rd practice field. Today this would be directly below where Murchison built the Cowboys Towers at 6116 N Central, approximately where the former Magnolia Hotel and current Beeman Hotel sits at 6070 N Central and 6060 N Central are today.
- Training camp moved to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan
- Cowboys are approached by a faction of IBM that wants to get into the NFL accounting areas via their computer systems. Instead Schramm flips it on them and asks them to see what they can do about developing a scouting system. A young Salam Qureishi joins forces with Gil Brandt to create pro sports first version of ‘Moneyball’. They didnt call them ‘analytics’ back then, instead the used the moniker, ‘predictables’
|1962||10||John Longmeyer||130||G||Southern Illinois|
|1962||11||Larry Hudas||144||E||Michigan St.|
|1962||14||Harold Hays||186||LB||Southern Miss|
|1962||17||Ray Jacobs||228||DT||Howard Payne|
|1962||20||Amos Bullocks||270||HB||Southern Illinois|
- 1963-1989: Training camp moved to California Lutheran in Oxnard
|1963||1||Lee Roy Jordan||6||LB||Alabama|
|1963||13||Paul Wicker||174||T||Fresno St.|
|1963||14||Lou Cioci||188||LB||Boston Col.|
|1963||16||Dennis Golden||216||T||Holy Cross|
- February 5, 1964: Clint Murchison signs Tom Landry to the longest contract in sports history, a 10 year agreement.
- June 22, 1964: Cowboys move to their second, albeit temporary headquarters, 5738 N. Central Expressway (between Mockingbird and Yale, approximately where Mockingbird Station is now), with plans to move again in 1966 to a nearby office tower being constructed by Murchison. The temporary office is about 3 blocks south of the practice field.
|1964||2||Mel Renfro HOF||17||DB||Oregon|
|1964||4||Perry Lee Dunn||45||RB||Mississippi|
|1964||6||Billy Lothridge||73||DB||Georgia Tech|
|1964||6||Jim Evans||83||WR||Texas-El Paso|
|1964||7||Bob Hayes HOF||88||SE||Florida A&M|
|1964||10||Roger Staubach HOF||129||QB||Navy|
|1964||15||Bill Van Burkleo||200||B||Tulsa|
|1965||6||Sonny Utz||75||FB||Virginia Tech|
|1965||9||Jim Zanios||117||FB||Texas Tech|
|1965||11||Jethro Pugh||145||DT||Elizabeth City St.|
|1965||12||Ernie Kellermann||159||DB||Miami (OH)|
|1965||15||Gene Foster||201||RB||Arizona St.|
|1965||16||Doug McDougal||215||E||Oregon St.|
|1965||19||Marv Rettenmund||257||HB||Ball St.|
|1965||20||Don Barlow||271||T||Kansas St.|
- Lamar Hunt had moved the Dallas Texans to Kansas City in 1963 as the NFL was simply too strong, the current owners were too wealthy. And then the Giants approached Bills kicker Pete Gogolak and they signed him and all hell broke loose. The AFL started to fight back, signing current NFL players like Roman Gabriel to futures contracts. The bidding wars were causing contracts to run too high. Secret meetings authorized by Pete Rozelle were held between old friends, Lamar Hunt and Tex Schramm. On June 8 1966, the AFL-NFL merger was announced. Common schedules came into play in 1970
- Cowboys began an NFL-record streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons. That streak included 18 years in the playoffs, 13 divisional championships, five trips to the Super Bowl and victories in Super Bowls VI and XII.
- Cowboys won Division title but lost in the NFL championship to Green Bay
- Dec. 19, 1966: Thirteen days before hosting the Packers in the NFL Championship Game, Cowboys move into their third headquarters in the new offices at 6116 N. Central Expressway, taking over the 11th floor of a 15-story, $7 million Expressway Tower built primarily for Murchison’s marine construction company, Tecon. The office overlooks the team’s practice field.
|1966||5||Walt Garrison||79||RB||Oklahoma St.|
|1966||6||Bob Dunlevy||86||E||West Virginia|
|1966||7||Arthur Robinson||100||E||Florida A&M|
|1966||8||Don Kunit||116||HB||Penn St.|
|1966||9||Darrell Elam||130||E||West Virginia Tech|
|1966||12||Les Shy||173||RB||Long Beach St.|
|1966||12||Craig Baynham||176||HB||Georgia Tech|
|1966||13||Ron Lamb||190||RB||South Carolina|
|1966||14||Lewis Turner||206||HB||Norfolk St.|
|1966||15||Mark Gartung||220||T||Oregon St.|
|1966||16||Tom Piggee||236||HB||San Francisco St.|
|1966||17||George Allen||250||T||West Texas A&M|
|1966||19||Byron Johnson||280||T||Central Washington|
- June 1967: Cowboys lease 3.5 acres near Forest Lane and Abrams Road and begin construction of a training facility and practice fields, which they move to in October and this becomes their fourth practice facility
- Cowboys won Division title but lost in the NFL championship to Green Bay
- George Allen was coaching the Los Angeles Rams in 1967 when the first Allen-Dallas dustup occurred. Cowboy exec Tex Schramm said a suspicious vehicle had been parked near the team’s practice field. Alert and inquisitive, he alleged a license plate check traced the car rental to Johnny Sanders, head scout of the Rams.
|1967||4||Curtis Marker||103||G||Northern Michigan|
|1967||6||Sims Stokes||157||WR||Northern Arizona|
|1967||7||Rayfield Wright HOF||182||T||Fort Valley St.|
|1967||8||Steve Laub||208||QB||Illinois Wesleyan|
|1967||10||Eugene Bowen||260||HB||Tennessee St.|
|1967||12||Harold Deters||312||K||North Carolina St.|
|1967||14||Tommy Boyd||364||G||Tarleton St.|
|1967||15||Leavie Davis||390||DB||Edward Waters|
|1967||16||Paul Brothers||416||QB||Oregon St.|
|1967||17||George Adams||442||LB||Morehead St.|
|1968||2||Dave McDaniels||45||WR||Miss. Valley St.|
|1968||6||D.D. Lewis||159||LB||Mississippi St.|
|1968||8||Frank Brown||211||DT||Albany St.|
|1968||12||Wilson Whitty||321||LB||Boston Univ.|
|1968||14||Ron Williams||373||DB||West Virginia|
- Cowboys win the Capital Division. They lose to the Cleveland Browns in the Eastern Championship 38-14
You want to know about ‘luck of the draw’? As the AFL-NFL merger approached in 1969-70 The AFC teams quickly decided on a divisional alignment but the NFC had a lot of infighting. They had gone to 4 team divisions in 1967 but nobody wanted to be in the same divisions as the Cowboys or Vikings. Everyone wanted the Saints as they were the worst team in football The final five proposals were as follows: PLAN 1: East: NYG, PHI, WAS, ATL, MIN; Central: CHI, GB, DET, NO; West: LA, SF, DAL, STL. PLAN 2: East: NYG, PHI, WAS, MIN; Central: ATL, DAL, NO, STL; West: LA, SF, CHI, GB, DET. PLAN 3: East: NYG, PHI, WAS, DAL, STL: Central: CHI, GB, DET, MIN; West: LA, SF, ATL, NO. PLAN 4: East: NYG, PHI, WAS, STL, MIN; Central: CHI, GB, DET, ATL; West: LA, SF, DAL, NO. PLAN 5: East: NYG, PHI, WAS, DET, MIN; Central: CHI, GB, DAL, STL; West: LA, SF, ATL, NO. These five combinations were written up on slips of paper, sealed into envelopes and put into a fish bowl (other sources say a flower vase), and the official NFC alignment ‘Plan 3’ was pulled out by Rozelle’s secretary, Thelma Elkjer.
|1969||3||Halvor Hagen||74||G||Weber St.|
|1969||6||Rick Shaw||152||FL||Arizona St.|
|1969||7||Larry Bales||180||FL||Emory & Henry|
|1969||10||Stuart Gottlieb||258||T||Weber St.|
|1969||11||Sweeny Williams||283||DE||Prairie View|
|1969||12||Bob Belden||308||QB||Notre Dame|
|1969||13||Rene Matison||336||FL||New Mexico|
|1969||14||Gerald Lutri||361||T||Northern Michigan|
|1969||16||Floyd Kerr||414||DB||Colorado St.|
|1969||17||Bill Bailey||439||DT||Lewis & Clark|
|1970||1||Duane Thomas||23||RB||West Texas A&M|
|1970||2||Margene Adkins||49||WR||Henderson JC|
|1970||3||Denton Fox||75||DB||Texas Tech|
|1970||4||John Fitzgerald||101||C||Boston Col.|
|1970||7||Don Abbey||179||LB||Penn St.|
|1970||13||Mark Washington||335||DB||Morgan St.|
|1970||14||Julian Martin||361||WR||North Carolina Central|
|1970||16||Seabern Hill||411||DB||Arizona St.|
- January 17, 1971 – Cowboys go to Superbowl, losing to Baltimore on a last second TB in Superbowl V.
- October 24, 1971: After playing their first two home games in 1971 at the Cotton Bowl, the Cowboys opened Texas Stadium in Irving
|1971||3||Sam Scarber||69||RB||New Mexico|
|1971||4||Joe Carter||80||TE||Grambling St.|
|1971||6||Steve Maier||155||WR||Northern Arizona|
|1971||10||Rodney Wallace||259||T||New Mexico|
|1971||13||James Ford||337||RB||Texas Southern|
|1971||14||Tyrone Covey||363||DB||Utah St.|
|1971||16||John Brennan||415||T||Boston Col.|
- January 16 1972 Cowboys win their first Superbowl 24-3 over the Miami Dolphins in Superbowl VI
|1972||1||Bill Thomas||26||RB||Boston Col.|
|1972||4||Tim Kearney||83||LB||Northern Michigan|
|1972||4||Robert West||90||WR||San Diego St.|
|1972||4||Charlie Zapiec||93||LB||Penn St.|
|1972||8||Ralph Coleman||208||LB||North Carolina A&T|
|1972||10||Richard Amman||260||DE||Florida St.|
|1972||11||Lonnie Leonard||286||DE||North Carolina A&T|
|1972||12||Jimmy Harris||312||WR||Ohio St.|
- Redskins spies are noticed by hotel employees at the hotel overlooking the Cowboy Forest lane practice field.
- In our interview with Charlie Waters, he told me that the Cowboys moved their practice during Redskin week to the Cotton Bowl making it the fifth practice facility.
|1973||1||Billy Joe DuPree||20||TE||Michigan St.|
|1973||3||Harvey Martin||53||DE||Texas A&M-Commerce|
|1973||8||Dan Werner||204||QB||Michigan St.|
|1973||11||Gerald Caswell||282||G||Colorado St.|
|1973||14||Bob Thornton||360||G||North Carolina|
|1973||15||Walt Baisy||385||LB||Grambling St.|
|1973||17||Les Strayhorn||438||RB||East Carolina|
|1974||1||Too Tall Jones||1||DE||Tennessee St.|
|1974||1||Charley Young||22||RB||North Carolina St.|
|1974||3||Danny White||53||QB||Arizona St.|
|1974||4||Ken Hutcherson||97||LB||West Alabama|
|1974||4||Andy Andrade||101||RB||Northern Michigan|
|1974||7||Raymond Nester||176||LB||Michigan St.|
|1974||8||Mike Holt||205||DB||Michigan St.|
|1974||9||Bill Dulin||230||T||Johnson C. Smith|
|1974||10||Dennis Morgan||255||RB||West. Illinois|
|1974||11||Harvey McGee||280||WR||Southern Miss|
|1974||17||Lawrie Skolrood||438||T||North Dakota|
|1975||1||Randy White HOF||2||DT||Maryland|
|1975||3||Bob Breunig||70||LB||Arizona St.|
|1975||6||Rolly Woolsey||148||DB||Boise St.|
|1975||7||Mike Hegman||173||LB||Tennessee St.|
|1975||11||Greg Krpalek||278||C||Oregon St.|
|1975||13||Herbert Scott||330||G||Virginia Union|
|1975||16||Pete Clark||407||TE||Colorado St.|
- January 18 1976 In Superbowl X Cowboys lose to Steelers 21-17 on one of the worst no-calls in Superbowl history
|1976||2||Jim Eidson||55||G||Mississippi St.|
|1976||3||Duke Fergerson||73||WR||San Diego St.|
|1976||3||John Smith||75||RB||Boise St.|
|1976||4||Tom Rafferty||119||C||Penn St.|
|1976||7||Greg Schaum||186||DE||Michigan St.|
|1976||8||Henry Laws||236||DB||South Carolina|
|1976||9||Beasley Reece||264||DB||North Texas|
|1976||11||Cornelius Greene||317||QB||Ohio St.|
|1976||12||Charles McShane||346||LB||California Lutheran|
|1976||13||Mark Driscoll||374||QB||Colorado St.|
- Forrest Gregg, Guard/Tackle becomes the first Dallas Cowboy in the NFL Hall of Fame
|1977||1||Tony Dorsett HOF||2||RB||Pittsburgh|
|1977||5||Andy Frederick||137||T||New Mexico|
|1977||7||Dave Stalls||191||DE||Northern Colorado|
|1977||8||Fred Williams||221||RB||Arizona St.|
|1977||9||Mark Cantrell||248||C||North Carolina|
|1977||10||Steve DeBerg||275||QB||San Jose St.|
- January 15 1978. Dallas destroy the Broncos 27-10 in Superbowl XII
- Lance Alworth, Flanker, NFL Hall of Fame Class of 1978
|1978||1||Larry Bethea||28||DT||Michigan St.|
|1978||6||Harold Randolph||166||LB||East Carolina|
|1978||7||Tom Randall||194||G||Iowa St.|
|1978||12||Lee Washburn||334||G||Montana St.|
- January 21 1979 Stealers beat the Cowboys 35-31 in Superbowl XIII
|1979||3||Doug Cosbie||76||TE||Santa Clara|
|1979||5||Bob Hukill||121||G||North Carolina|
|1979||5||Curtis Anderson||128||DE||Central State (OH)|
|1979||5||Ron Springs||136||RB||Ohio St.|
|1979||6||Mike Salzano||160||G||North Carolina|
|1979||6||Chris DeFrance||164||WR||Arizona St.|
|1979||7||Greg Fitzpatrick||191||LB||Youngstown St.|
|1979||10||Mike Calhoun||274||DT||Notre Dame|
|1979||12||Quentin Lowry||329||LB||Youngstown St.|
- Bob Lilly, ‘Mr Cowboy’, the huge DT goes into the NFL Hall of Fame
- Herb Adderley, CB goes into the NFL Hall of Fame
|1980||3||James Jones||80||RB||Mississippi St.|
|1980||5||Gary Hogeboom||133||QB||Central Michigan|
|1980||6||Timmy Newsome||162||RB||Winston-Salem St.|
|1980||8||Larry Savage||216||LB||Michigan St.|
|1980||9||Jackie Flowers||246||WR||Florida St.|
|1980||10||Matthew Teague||273||DE||Prairie View|
|1980||11||Gary Padjen||300||LB||Arizona St.|
|1981||2||Doug Donley||53||WR||Ohio St.|
|1981||4||Scott Pelluer||91||LB||Washington St.|
|1981||6||Vince Skillings||163||DB||Ohio St.|
|1981||7||Ken Miller||191||DB||East. Michigan|
|1981||8||Paul Piurowski||218||LB||Florida St.|
|1981||9||Mike Wilson||246||WR||Washington St.|
- The drafting of Rod Hill in Round One starts a string of bad draft, with a few exceptions that continue until Jerry Jones purchases the team.
- The 1982 NFL strike, which lasted for three months and eight weeks, forced the 1982 season to be shortened to 9 games per team
- Dallas goes 6-3 and ends the season just missing the Super Bowl.
- Dallas wins first round over Bucs, round two over Packs and loses NFC championship to Redskins who beat the Dolphins in the Superbowl
|1982||1||Rod Hill||25||DB||Kentucky St.|
|1982||5||Phil Pozderac||137||T||Notre Dame|
|1982||6||Charles Daum||165||DT||Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo|
|1982||8||Dwight Sullivan||221||RB||North Carolina St.|
|1982||10||Todd Eckerson||277||T||North Carolina St.|
|1982||11||George Thompson||295||WR||Albany St.|
|1982||11||Mike Whiting||304||RB||Florida St.|
- November 29, 1983: Cowboys break ground on a 30-acre office and training facility in Valley Ranch.
|1983||1||Jim Jeffcoat||23||DE||Arizona St.|
|1983||3||Bryan Caldwell||77||DE||Arizona St.|
|1983||6||Reggie Collier||162||QB||Southern Miss|
|1983||11||Dan Taylor||300||T||Idaho St.|
- Bum Bright purchases the Cowboys for $84 million
|1984||1||Billy Cannon||25||LB||Texas A&M|
|1984||4||Steve DeOssie||110||LB||Boston Col.|
|1984||7||Ed Martin||193||LB||Indiana St.|
|1984||9||Neil Maune||249||G||Notre Dame|
- August 27, 1985: Players and coaches move to the new Valley Ranch facility.
- Front office personnel move in several weeks later, marking the first time since 1967 that the team’s practice facility and office complex are in the same area.
- Valley Ranch becomes the sixth Cowboy practice facility.
- Roger Staubach inducted into NFL Hall of Fame at QB
|1985||2||Jesse Penn||44||LB||Virginia Tech|
|1985||4||Robert Lavette||103||RB||Georgia Tech|
|1985||5||Matt Darwin||119||C||Texas A&M|
|1985||6||Kurt Ploeger||144||DE||Gustavus Adolphus|
|1985||7||Karl Powe||178||WR||Alabama St.|
|1985||10||Joe Jones||270||TE||Virginia Tech|
- In a Brad Sham book ‘Stadium Stories’ Tex Schramm says that in the Spring of 1986 Bum Bright, Tex Schramm and Landry agree that Landry will retire at the end of the season. According to Tex, the NFL has moved past him and he will not adapt. Paul Hackett is brought in from San Francisco to take over for Landry and revive the stagnating offense
- Landry refuses to let Hackett run the offense and blends the West Coast offense with his old one
- He does not retire at the end of the year as he agreed to.
|1986||2||Darryl Clack||33||RB||Arizona St.|
|1986||8||Topper Clemons||212||RB||Wake Forest|
|1986||9||John Ionata||242||G||Florida St.|
|1986||11||Garth Jax||296||LB||Florida St.|
- Brad Sham “Landry then decides, without telling anyone, he is not going to quit.” Either 1987 or 1988 in the Spring, Landry had a press conference. Schramm had Marty Schottenheimer in town, looking at houses. He thought he was going to hire Marty Schottenheimer to replace Tom Landry, who was going to retire. Landry comes and has a press conference, and that’s when Schramm finds out that Landry is not quitting.
- Tex will still not fire him as Gil, Tex and Tom were hired together and would leave together.
- This is the strike year. Replacements go 2-1. Regulars go 5-7.
|1987||4||Kelvin Martin||95||WR||Boston Col.|
|1987||7||Kevin Sweeney||180||QB||Fresno St.|
- Possibly Landry’s worst year. He can no longer relate to the players, the NFL has long since figured out the Flex defense and his GM and Owner have expected him to retire for the past two years. They go 3-13
- Mike Ditka goes into NFL Hall of Fame at TE
|1988||1||Michael Irvin HOF||11||WR||Miami (FL)|
|1988||2||Ken Norton Jr.||41||LB||UCLA|
|1988||4||Dave Widell||94||C||Boston Col.|
|1988||7||Owen Hooven||178||T||Oregon St.|
|1988||11||Chad Hennings||290||DT||Air Force|
- Feb 25, 1989 – Bum Bright sells the team. He has had several offers, however he wasn’t going to sell to anyone that was going to keep Landry. Landry must be fired for the deal to be done. But does not take the highest one, instead he goes with the charismatic Jerry Jones for $170 million.
- “Our agreement on the purchase of the Dallas Cowboys was finalized with a few notes on a napkin and a handshake,” Jones said in a statement. “With Bum, his word meant everything. LA Times
- Jones is the the majority partner, with five minority owners, including Ed Smith of Houston, who had 27 percent under Bright’s ownership. The other minority owners include Charles Wily, Sam Wily and Evan Wily, who are affiliated with U.S. Cafes, owners of the Bonanza Steakhouse chain, and Russell Glass.
- Brad Sham; “So, Bum Bright says to Jerry Jones, ‘I’ll fire him for you.’ And Jerry says ‘No, no, I’m going to fly down and tell him face to face.’ Well, people don’t want to hear that, because that doesn’t make Jerry a villain.”
- Announcement of the sale, rumored since Thursday, came at a news conference 8:22 p.m. Saturday at Valley Ranch. The news conference was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but was delayed because Jones and club president Tex Schramm flew in Jones’ private jet to Austin to inform Landry personally that he was being replaced as Cowboys coach. Schramm’s voice broke and tears welled in his eyes as he talked of the visit with Landry. “It was a very difficult meeting, difficult and sad,” said Schramm, who will retain his role with the Cowboys. “It’s tough when you break a relationship that you have had for 29 years. But I am glad the ownership problem has been cleared up. It’s good for the ballclub,” Schramm said. (The Oklahoman)
- Bright says later that his biggest regret during his Cowboy tenure was not firing Landry himself.
- Jones offers Landry a position with the Cowboys that Tom declines.
- Jones hires Jimmy Johnson, his Arkansas teammate as Head Coach. He will serve from 1989-1993. He supervises the 1989 Draft
|1989||1||Troy Aikman HOF||1||QB||UCLA|
|1989||2||Steve Wisniewski||29||G||Penn St.|
|1989||4||Tony Tolbert||85||DE||Texas-El Paso|
|1989||5||Willis Crockett||119||LB||Georgia Tech|
|1989||10||Rod Carter||252||LB||Miami (FL)|
|1989||11||Randy Shannon||280||LB||Miami (FL)|
- October 12, 1989, a trade occurs centered on sending running back Herschel Walker from the Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings. Including Walker and a transaction involving the San Diego Chargers, the trade eventually involved 18 players and draft picks. This gave Dallas the ammunition to win the three Super Bowls of the 1990s
“There is no right way to fire Tom Landry. Yet it was what everybody wanted done, and what everybody agreed had to happen. They just wanted him to step away gracefully, but he didn’t want to.”
“The great irony to me is that is what he did with his players. He intentionally did not have close personal relationships with most of his players while he was playing because he knew there would be a day when he would have to cut them. And all of his players, 85-90%, didn’t like him when they played for him. But they looked back after they played for him, and said “Wow.” He cared about them deeply, but felt, this is the way I have to run this business. Then it happened to him, and he didn’t like it.” Brad Sham courtesy Peter King podcast.
- 1990-97: Training camp St. Edwards University in Austin
- Tom Landry becomes the first Cowboy coach in the NFL Hall of Fame
|1990||1||Emmitt Smith HOF||17||RB||Florida|
|1990||3||Jimmie Jones||64||DT||Miami (FL)|
|1990||5||Stan Smagala||123||DB||Notre Dame|
|1990||9||Kenneth Gant||221||DB||Albany State (GA)|
|1990||11||Dave Harper||277||LB||Humboldt St.|
- Texas E. Schramm becomes the first Cowboy GM in the NFL Hall of Fame
|1991||1||Russell Maryland||1||DT||Miami (FL)|
|1991||2||Dixon Edwards||37||LB||Michigan St.|
|1991||3||Erik Williams||70||T||Central State (OH)|
|1991||4||Kevin Harris||110||DE||Texas Southern|
|1991||6||Mike Sullivan||153||G||Miami (FL)|
|1991||7||Leon Lett||173||DT||Emporia St.|
|1991||10||Sean Love||264||G||Penn St.|
|1992||1||Kevin Smith||17||DB||Texas A&M|
|1992||1||Robert Jones||24||LB||East Carolina|
|1992||2||Jimmy Smith||36||WR||Jackson St.|
|1992||2||Darren Woodson||37||DB||Arizona St.|
|1992||3||James Brown||82||T||Virginia St.|
|1992||5||Greg Briggs||120||DB||Texas Southern|
|1992||5||Rod Milstead||121||G||Delaware St.|
|1992||9||Chris Hall||250||DB||East Carolina|
|1992||11||Tim Daniel||302||WR||Florida A&M|
|1992||12||Don Harris||317||DB||Texas Tech|
- January 31 1993 Dallas destroys Buffalo in XXVII 52-17
|1993||2||Kevin Williams||46||WR||Miami (FL)|
|1993||2||Darrin Smith||54||LB||Miami (FL)|
|1993||4||Ron Stone||96||G||Boston Col.|
|1993||8||Reggie Givens||213||LB||Penn St.|
- 1994: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones plans to expand the 65,000-seat Texas Stadium by 40,000 seats, add retractable roof panels and install a climate-control system to make the stadium a year-round venue for sporting events, including the Super Bowl, concerts, and conventions.
- January 30 1994 Dallas replays 1993 and take out Buffalo 30-13 in Superbowl XXVIII
- Tony Dorsett, Cowboy RB goes into the NFL Hall of Fame
- Randy ‘The Manster’ White goes into the NFL Hall of Fame
- Jackie Smith goes in NFL Hall of Fame. Only with Dallas one year but famous for dropping the tying TD pass in Super Bowl XIII against the Steelers.
- March 29, 1994 – a day that will live in Cowboy infamy. At a hotel bar in Orlando, Jerry Jones tells reporters Rick Gosselin and Ed Werder, “There are 500 coaches who could have won the Super Bowl with our team.”
- A week later Jerry and Jimmy part ways. Barry Switzer is hired as head coach
|1994||1||Shante Carver||23||DE||Arizona St.|
|1994||2||Larry Allen HOF||46||G||Sonoma St.|
|1994||3||George Hegamin||102||T||North Carolina St.|
|1994||6||Darren Studstill||191||DB||West Virginia|
|1994||7||Toddrick McIntosh||216||DE||Florida St.|
|1995||2||Kendell Watkins||59||TE||Mississippi St.|
|1995||2||Shane Hannah||63||G||Michigan St.|
|1995||3||Charlie Williams||92||DB||Bowling Green|
|1995||4||Linc Harden||130||LB||Oklahoma St.|
|1995||7||Oscar Sturgis||236||DE||North Carolina|
- January 28 1996 Dallas wins it’s 5th Superbowl over the Steelers, 27-17
- Me Renfro joins the Hall of Fame at as a Cowboy S and CB
|1996||2||Kavika Pittman||37||DE||McNeese St.|
|1996||3||Clay Shiver||67||C||Florida St.|
|1996||5||Kenneth McDaniel||157||T||Norfolk St.|
|1996||7||Ryan Wood||243||RB||Arizona St.|
- 1997–2000: The Cowboys hold preliminary talks with Arlington officials about building a stadium there. The team also publicly discusses a $260 million plan to upgrade Texas Stadium. In 2000, the Cowboys compile a list of potential stadium sites, which include Grapevine, Coppell, and Arlington. The team continues negotiating with Irving to renovate Texas Stadium.
|1997||3||Dexter Coakley||65||LB||Appalachian St.|
|1997||4||Macey Brooks||127||WR||James Madison|
|1997||4||Nicky Sualua||129||RB||Ohio St.|
|1997||7||Omar Stoutmire||224||DB||Fresno St.|
- 1998-2001: Training camp moved to Midwestern State in Wichita Falls
- however in 2001, River Ridge Playing Field in Oxnard shared training camp
- Tommy McDonald, Cowboy WR joins the NFL Hall of Fame
|1998||1||Greg Ellis||8||DE||North Carolina|
|1998||2||Flozell Adams||38||T||Michigan St.|
|1998||5||Darren Hambrick||130||LB||South Carolina|
|1998||5||Oliver Ross||138||T||Iowa St.|
|1999||1||Ebenezer Ekuban||20||DE||North Carolina|
|1999||2||Solomon Page||55||G||West Virginia|
|1999||3||Dat Nguyen||85||LB||Texas A&M|
|1999||4||Peppi Zellner||132||DE||Fort Valley St.|
|2000||4||Kareem Larrimore||109||DB||West Texas A&M|
|2000||5||Michael Wiley||144||RB||Ohio St.|
|2000||6||Mario Edwards||180||DB||Florida St.|
- 2001: Jones says Arlington is a leading contender for a $500 million stadium. The primary site considered is the 2,000 acres (810 ha) Lakes of Arlington tract on Farm Road 157. Other cities in the running include Grapevine and Grand Prairie. In October, Jones discusses the new stadium with the mayors of Arlington, Irving, Grapevine, and Dallas.
|2001||3||Willie Blade||93||DT||Mississippi St.|
|2001||5||Matt Lehr||137||C||Virginia Tech|
|2001||6||Daleroy Stewart||171||DT||Southern Miss|
|2001||7||Colston Weatherington||207||DE||Central Missouri St.|
|2001||7||John Nix||240||DT||Southern Miss|
|2001||7||Char-ron Dorsey||242||T||Florida St.|
- 2002-2003: Training camp at Alamodome in San Antonio
|2002||3||Derek Ross||75||DB||Ohio St.|
|2002||4||Jamar Martin||129||FB||Ohio St.|
|2002||5||Pete Hunter||168||DB||Virginia Union|
|2002||6||Tyson Walter||179||C||Ohio St.|
|2002||6||DeVeren Johnson||208||WR||Sacred Heart|
|2002||6||Bob Slowikowski||211||TE||Virginia Tech|
- 2003: The Cowboys ask the Irving City Council to extend their lease at Texas Stadium, which expires at the end of the 2008 season, on a year-to-year basis. They narrow their search to sites in Las Colinas and Dallas, and state legislators file bills that would allow Dallas County to increase its hotel occupancy and car rental taxes to pay for a new stadium.
|2003||1||Terence Newman||5||DB||Kansas St.|
- April 2004: Cowboys announce plans to build a $650 million stadium at Fair Park in Dallas. The deal requires $425 million in public financing from a 3% hotel-occupancy tax and a 6% car-rental tax.
June 2004; American Airlines Center is a “major obstacle” to building a Dallas Cowboys stadium in Fair Park, Mayor Laura Miller and several City Council members said Wednesday.“We should not have structured the deal like we did,” the mayor said, explaining that a noncompete clause in the arena’s contract with the city is complicating negotiations with the Cowboys. “It’s a big problem. American Airlines Center keeps saying, ‘You can’t do this; you can’t do that.’ Our attorneys are going to continue to work on it.”The city’s 1998 contract with American Airlines Center says the city cannot participate in the building of a stadium that would seat between 5,000 and 50,000 people and therefore compete with the arena for concerts and family events.
- The deal falls apart in June when Dallas County commissioners say they cannot justify asking voters to approve the team’s request for $425 million in public funding.
- Dallas Mayor Laura Miller made a last ditch effort to keep the Cowboys in Dallas offering a hotel tax that matched the one the county turned down. Arlington offered to pay$325 mil for the stadium plus raise other funding and Dallas wouldn’t match. (Ms Miller said they simply didnt have the money) ( Texas Monthly, Feb 2006)
- In July, the Cowboys and Arlington announce they are negotiating to locate the stadium near Globe Life Park (then Ameriquest Field). In August, the Arlington City Council agrees unanimously to put before voters a tax increase that would fund the city’s $325 million portion of the project. Voters approve the tax increase on November 2.
- 2004-2006: Training camp at River Ridge in Oxnard, CA
|2004||2||Julius Jones||43||RB||Notre Dame|
|2004||5||Sean Ryan||144||TE||Boston Col.|
|2004||7||Patrick Crayton||216||WR||NW Oklahoma St.|
- 2005: Arlington and the Cowboys choose the site south of Randol Mill Road and east of Collins Street for the new stadium. The city begins notifying residents and property owners of its plans to acquire their property. The Cowboys hire the HKS architectural firm to design the stadium. Early blueprints show 414 luxury suites and a two-panel retractable roof. The city completes its sale of $297.9 million in bonds to pay for its portion of the construction. Demolition of houses begins November 1.
|2005||4||Marion Barber III||109||RB||Minnesota|
|2005||6||Justin Beriault||208||DB||Ball St.|
- January 2006: The Cowboys hired Oklahoma-based Manhattan Construction as the general contractor for the stadium and the city completes its land purchases, although it still faces a number of lawsuits over land acquisition. Later that month, Tarrant County work crews begin demolition of more than 150 Arlington residences and small business structures to make room for the stadium.
- March 2006: Alliance announced between Manhattan Construction and two general contractors, Rayco Construction of Grand Prairie and 3i Construction of Dallas, to manage the stadium’s construction.
- April 2006: Excavation begins by Mario Sinacola and Sons Excavating. By August, they had moved over 1.4 million cubic yards of earth, shaping a 13-to-14-acre (5.3 to 5.7 ha) stadium bowl an average of 54 feet (16 m) deep.
- October 2006: The grass amphitheater on Randol Mill Road is leveled to make way for the extension of Baird Farm Road.
- December 2006: The stadium’s structure begins to go up and on December 12, Jerry Jones unveils the in-depth plans and designs of the stadium to the public.
- Troy Aikman goes into NFL Hall of Fame as a Cowboy QB
- ‘Big Cat’ Rayfield Wright, Cowboy OT goes into NFL Hall of Fame
|2006||1||Bobby Carpenter||18||LB||Ohio St.|
|2006||2||Anthony Fasano||53||TE||Notre Dame|
|2006||3||Jason Hatcher||92||DE||Grambling St.|
|2006||5||Pat Watkins||138||DB||Florida St.|
|2006||7||Pat McQuistan||211||T||Weber St.|
|2006||7||E.J. Whitley||224||C||Texas Tech|
- January 2007: A construction worker is injured in a 20 ft fall.
- June 2008: Jones commissions the world’s largest 1080 HDTV, to hang above field. An electrician is electrocuted while working on the stadium. Two days before, three people were injured while assembling a crane.
- Training camp at Alamodome
- WR Micheal Irvin goes into NFL Hall of Fame
|2007||3||James Marten||67||T||Boston Col.|
|2007||4||Doug Free||122||T||Northern Illinois|
|2007||7||Courtney Brown||212||DB||Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo|
- 2008 and 2010 Training camp at River Ridge in Oxnard
|2008||1||Mike Jenkins||25||DB||South Florida|
|2008||2||Martellus Bennett||61||TE||Texas A&M|
|2008||4||Tashard Choice||122||RB||Georgia Tech|
|2008||5||Orlando Scandrick||143||DB||Boise St.|
|2008||6||Erik Walden||167||DE||Middle Tenn. St.|
- 2009: The stadium is scheduled for ‘substantial completion’ in June. The artificial-turf field was brought into the stadium in July. The Cowboys played their first pre-season home game on August 21 and their first regular-season home game on Sunday, September 20.
- May 2, 2009 Rich Behm is paralyzed and 11 others hurt when straightline winds take out a tent at Valley Ranch.
- May 13, 2009: Jerry Jones announced the official name of the new venue as Cowboys Stadium.
- 2009 and 2011: Training camp at Alamodome in San Antonio
- September 20, 2009: The Cowboys played their first NFL regular season game in the new stadium, . The Cowboys lose to the Giants 33–31 on a last second field goal by Lawrence Tynes. It was televised on NBC. This game attracted a record-breaking crowd of 105,121.
- ‘Bullet’ Bob Hayes finally goes into the NFL Hall of Fame
|2009||3||Jason Williams||69||LB||West. Illinois|
|2009||3||Robert Brewster||75||T||Ball St.|
|2009||4||Stephen McGee||101||QB||Texas A&M|
|2009||4||Victor Butler||110||LB||Oregon St.|
|2009||4||Brandon Williams||120||DE||Texas Tech|
- Emmitt Smith, NFL all time rushing leader is a first ballot NFL Hall of Famer
|2010||1||Dez Bryant||24||WR||Oklahoma St.|
|2010||2||Sean Lee||55||LB||Penn St.|
|2010||4||Akwasi Owusu-Ansah||126||DB||Indiana (PA)|
|2010||6||Sam Young||179||T||Notre Dame|
|2010||6||Jamar Wall||196||DB||Texas Tech|
|2010||7||Sean Lissemore||234||DT||William & Mary|
- February 6, 2011: The 2010 NFL Season Super Bowl was hosted at the Cowboys Stadium, which saw the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. It was in the middle of a sudden snow and ice storm where several guests were struck by ice sliding off the roof. The City of Arlington had no capabilities for ice of this magnitude.
- Deion ‘Primetime’ Sanders goes into NFL Hall of Fame
|2011||2||Bruce Carter||40||LB||North Carolina|
|2011||4||David Arkin||110||G||Missouri State|
|2011||6||Dwayne Harris||176||WR||East Carolina|
|2012||3||Tyrone Crawford||81||DE||Boise St.|
|2012||4||Kyle Wilber||113||LB||Wake Forest|
|2012||4||Matt Johnson||135||DB||East. Washington|
|2012||5||Danny Coale||152||WR||Virginia Tech|
- July 25, 2013: Jerry Jones announced that the official name of the venue was changed to AT&T Stadium as part of a naming rights deal.
- Larry Allen, OT and OG for us goes into NFL Hall of Fame
- Bill Parcells, Cowboys Head Coach goes into NFL Hall of Fame
- The Star project was announced in 2013 as a partnership between the City of Frisco and the Dallas Cowboys as part of the “$5 Billion Mile” in Frisco Station, Texas. The Ford Center is part of a 91-acre development called The Star that includes the Dallas Cowboys’ team headquarters and training facility which moved from Valley Ranch, Texas, a 300-room Omni Hotel, the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor Walk, and retail and restaurant space. The Ford Center at The Star aside from the main stadium features practice fields and a sports training complex called the “Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research center for sports medicine”
- The Star becomes the 7th and current practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys.
|2013||2||Gavin Escobar||47||TE||San Diego St.|
|2013||3||J.J. Wilcox||80||DB||Georgia Southern|
|2013||4||B.W. Webb||114||DB||William & Mary|
|2013||5||Joseph Randle||151||RB||Oklahoma St.|
|2013||6||DeVonte Holloman||185||LB||South Carolina|
|2014||1||Zack Martin||16||G||Notre Dame|
|2014||2||DeMarcus Lawrence||34||DE||Boise St.|
|2014||7||Will Smith||238||LB||Texas Tech|
|2014||7||Ken Bishop||251||DT||Northern Illinois|
- Charles Haley, DE and LB goes into NFL Hall of Fame
|2015||7||Laurence Gibson||243||T||Virginia Tech|
|2016||1||Ezekiel Elliott||4||RB||Ohio St.|
|2016||2||Jaylon Smith||34||OLB||Notre Dame|
|2016||4||Dak Prescott||135||QB||Mississippi St.|
|2016||6||Kavon Frazier||212||S||Central Michigan|
|2016||6||Darius Jackson||216||RB||East. Michigan|
- Jerry Jones goes into NFL Hall of Fame as an owner
|2017||4||Ryan Switzer||133||WR||North Carolina|
|2017||6||Xavier Woods||191||S||Louisiana Tech|
|2017||6||Marquez White||216||CB||Florida St.|
|2017||7||Noah Brown||239||WR||Ohio St.|
- WR Terrell Owens goes into NFL Hall of Fame
|2018||1||Leighton Vander Esch||19||OLB||Boise St.|
|2018||3||Michael Gallup||81||WR||Colorado St.|
|2018||4||Dorance Armstrong Jr.||116||DE||Kansas|
|2018||5||Mike White||171||QB||Western Kentucky|
|2018||6||Cedrick Wilson||208||WR||Boise St.|
- Gil Brandt becomes the first Director of Player Personnel in the NFL Hall of Fame
|2019||2||Trysten Hill||58||DT||Central Florida|
|2019||3||Connor McGovern||90||G||Penn St.|
|2019||5||Michael Jackson||158||CB||Miami (FL)|
|2019||5||Joe Jackson||165||DE||Miami (FL)|
|2019||6||Donovan Wilson||213||S||Texas A&M|
|2019||7||Mike Weber||218||RB||Ohio St.|
|2020||4||Reggie Robinson II||123||CB||Tulsa|
|2020||7||Ben DiNucci||231||QB||James Madison|
If you haven’t read our interview with Cowboy All Pro LB Thomas ‘Hollywood’ Henderson, go to https://memoriesofdallas.org/thomashenderson/
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