Dallas Cowboys Timeline

by Paul Heckmann, Executive Director Memories Incorporated

Credit must be given to:

Dallas Morning News, dallascowboys.com, Pro Football Reference, ESPN, Wiki and a innumerable number of Cowboy fan sites 

 

* 1959: Clint Murchison signs Don Meredith to a personal service contract to lock him up for the proposed Dallas Steers franchise. He does the same with Don Perkins. 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, purchase it and basically trades it to the Skins for their vote.
- Ranger franchise is awarded to Murchison. 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. was the new team's majority owner and his first order of business was to hire Tex Schramm as general manager, Tom Landry as head coach and Gil Brandt as player personnel director

* 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 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.

* 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 floor, 1st 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 1960 Before that first season, the Cowboys held the first part of 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. A disaster as it hadnt 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. My former business partner Tom Frankhauser becomes the first Cowboy to ever touch the ball while taking the opening kickoff, which he also did in their preseason.

* 1960-1971: Cowboys use Cotton Bowl for NFL games

* 1961: Training camp moved to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota

* 1961: Cowboys add a box office at 1509 Elm Street, tickets can also be purchased at Reynolds-Penland and Jas. K. Wilson stores.

* 1962: Cowboys owner Clint Murchison Jr. buys property at Yale Boulevard and North Central Expressway from underneath the AFL's Dallas Texans 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, aproximately where Magnolia Hotel and 6060 N Central are today

* 1962: Training camp moved to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan

* 1963-1989: Training camp moved to California Lutheran in Oxnard

* June 22, 1964: Cowboys move to thier second, albeit temporary headquarters, 5738 N. Central Expressway (between Mockingbird and Yale, aproximately 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.

* 1966 - 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 thier 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.

* 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

* 1971 - Cowboys go to Superbowl, losing to Baltimore on a last second FB in Superbowl V.

* Oct. 24, 1971: After playing their first two home games in 1971 at the Cotton Bowl, the Cowboys opened Texas Stadium in Irving

* Jan 16 1972 Cowboys win their first Superbowl 24-3 over the Miami Dolphins in Superbowl VI

* Jan 18 1976 In Superbowl X Cowboys lose to Steelers 21-17 on one of the worst no-calls in Superbowl history

* Jan 15 1978. Dallas destroy the Broncos 27-10 in Superbowl XII

* Jan 21 1979 Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31 inh Superbowl XIII

* Nov. 29, 1983: Cowboys break ground on a 30-acre office and training facility in Valley Ranch.

* Aug. 28, 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.

* 1986 - In a later interview, 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 Texsas, the NFL has moved past him and he will not adapt. Paul Hackett is brought in from San Francisco to 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.

* 1987 - Hackett sticks around but Landry refuses to retire again, infuriating Bum Bright and Tex Schramm. Tex will still not fire him as he is fiercely loyal
- This is the strike year. Replacements go 3-2. Regulars go 4-6.

* 1988 - 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

* Feb 19, 1989 - Bum Bright sells the team. He has had several offers - all with the rider that Landry must be fired for the deal to be done. But does not take the highest one, instead he goes with the magnetic Jerry Jones. Bright offers to fire Landry first, but Jerry refuses and does it himself.
- Bright says later that his biggest regret was not firing Landry himself.
- Jones hires Jimmy Johnson, his Arkansas teammate as Head Coach. He will serve from 1989-1993

October 12, 1989, 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 ammuntion to win the three SuperBowls of the early 90s

* 1990-97: Training camp St. Edwards University in Austin

* Jan 31 1993 Dallas destroys Buffalo in XXVII 52-17

* 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.

* Jan 30 1994 Dallas replays 1993 and take out Buffalo 30-13 in Superbowl XXVIII

* Jan 28 1996 Dallas wins it's 5th Superbowl over the SteAlers, 27-17

* 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.

* 1998-2001: Training camp moved to Midwestern State in Wichita Falls
- however in 2001, River Ridge Playing Field in Oxnard shared training camp

* 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.

* 2002-2003: Training camp at Alamodome in San Antonio

* 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.

* 2004: April, 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.
- 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.
- 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

* 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.

* 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.

2007: Training camp at Alamodome

* 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.

* January 2007: A construction worker is injured in a 20 ft fall.

* June 2008: Jones commissions the world's largest 1080p 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.

* 2008 and 2010 Training camp at River Ridge in Oxnard

* 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 3 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 anmd 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.

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.

* 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.

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