Big Mac Bites: A forgotten Dallas Cowboy who deserves to be in
the Hall of Fame
In the history of the Dallas Cowboys, there is a three-headed machine that will soon be joined in Canton, Ohio when there is a fourth who never gets his due credit.
There are some other Dallas Cowboys who deserve to be in Canton ... Cliff Harris, I see you.
Now that the Pro Football Hall of Fame has a Contributor’s category, there is no reason that Clint Murchison should not only be considered, but inducted. The way we view and consume pro football does not exist without him.
If owners are to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, many of whom are there simply because their teams won a lot of games, there is no way the creator of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Stadium should not be included.
Read the rest here at Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Friends of Clint Murchison Jr. recommend Cowboys founder for Pro Football Hall of Fame
Stephen Jones calls Murchison a visionary in video describing team’s original owner as
(DALLAS, May 19, 2019) – Friends of Clint Murchison Jr., an alliance of former Dallas Cowboys players, including six Hall of Fame inductees, as well as former executives and family members from the franchise’s leadership, this week will recommend the founder of the Dallas Cowboys as a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year, the group will emphasize the critical role the Dallas Cowboys original owner, Clint Murchison Jr., had in redefining NFL stadiums when he personally conceived, developed and built Texas Stadium.
When Clint Murchison led the new stadium’s groundbreaking in 1969, few people realized he would produce a sophisticated, modern, money-making venue unlike any other in the NFL. At the time, most teams played in civic facilities; dual or multi-purpose stadiums shared with Major League Baseball; college venues; and even stadiums built for high school teams.
Dallas Cowboys CEO and Executive Vice-President Stephen Jones underlined Murchison’s NFL leadership and his role as a game-changer in a video produced by the committee.
“Clint was ahead of his time when he built Texas Stadium,” Jones said. “He was obviously cutting-edge when he came up with selling seat options. Now they call them Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs) in the NFL, and they're really the fundamental basis of how stadiums are financed.”
Jones emphasized the fact that Murchison created the private funding model that is still used today to construct NFL stadiums, as well as other sports facilities around the world.
Other experts echoed the belief that Murchison was a genius “way ahead of his time” because his design for Texas Stadium was the first to use luxury suites on a large scale. The stadium opened with 178 luxury suites, but Murchison left room for future owners to increase the total to some 400 suites.
“Clint Murchison created the prototype for today’s modern NFL stadium,” said Michael Granberry who is completing a book on Texas Stadium, a venue the author calls iconic.
“For the first time, Clint was able to work out a deal in which the stadium could produce significant revenues that did not have to be shared with another partner or with the NFL,” said Granberry. “Those profit centers, especially from luxury suites, the private clubs and other sponsorship deals, stayed in-house. Clint saw the stadium as a revenue source and predicted that money from television contracts would not be able to sustain the game’s growth.”
Bryan Trubey, Principal and Executive Vice-President of HKS Inc and also lead architect for AT&T Stadium and U.S. Bank Stadium, said Clint Murchison’s Texas Stadium was a game-changer in the NFL. It impacted the game, Trubey said, but Murchison also changed the fan’s experience of the game.
“Yes, he understood that the venue could make money to support the team,” said Trubey, “but he also cared deeply about taking care of the fans with a level of comfort, hospitality and access never seen before in the League. Most importantly, Clint believed the game should be subject to weather elements, so he created the famous hole-in-the-roof to protect the fans.”
During the design of the Cowboys new stadium, that opened in 2009, Trubey said the Jones family was totally committed to keeping the hole-in-the-roof that Linebacker D.D. Lewis quipped was there “so God could watch his favorite team play.”
The video, produced by the alliance, included other notables with memories about Texas Stadium. One of those is Drew Pearson, Dallas Cowboys wide-receiver from 1973-1984.
“Texas Stadium definitely gave us home-field advantage,” Pearson said, “but it was huge for the game because all the owners began to look at their stadiums as opportunities to bring more dollars in for the teams. That place also had a special feel to it. When you came out of the tunnel, it was clear, you are now in a true pro football stadium.”
“Dad wanted to deliver a ‘best-in-class’ stadium for the team and the fans,” said his son Burk Murchison. “In truth, while accomplishing that, he also created the foundation for today’s modern NFL football stadiums.”
Murchison fought for the right to bring NFL football to Dallas, Texas, and he received approval in 1959. The team’s first season was in 1960 and the Cowboys played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, moving to Texas Stadium in Irving in 1971. He owned the team until 1984. During his ownership, teams produced outstanding rewards including 20 consecutive winning seasons, 17 years of playoff appearances, five trips to the Super Bowl and two Lombardi trophies. Clint Murchison Jr. passed away at age 63 in 1987.
Cowboys had to repair Dallas’ image after JFK assassination
On Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963, hours after President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dealey Plaza, the Dallas Cowboys reported to Love Field for a trip to Cleveland.
The players were shocked at having to go. During the flight, they stared out the window at the whirring propellers of their Douglas DC-7, courting a sense of dread over what might await them on the shores of Lake Erie.
It was bothersome to many that Don Meredith, the team’s happy-go-lucky quarterback, was anything but “Dandy” Don. He sat stoically, staring out the window. Meredith’s world had gone into upheaval the day before, when, right after lunch, Friday’s pregame practice was interrupted by a trainer gone bonkers.
“He came running up, yelling, ‘Kennedy’s been shot! Kennedy’s been shot!’ And everything just kind of went crazy from there,” Meredith said in a 1982 interview with this reporter. “And,” he said, “it stayed crazy.” Read more at The Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning NEws: Meet the man several Dallas legends want to see in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: 'Without him, there would be no' Cowboys
FRISCO -- The NFL awarded Clint Murchison a franchise in 1960 as a counter punch.
Lamar Hunt had announced the formation of the American Football League in 1959 and was going to place a charter franchise -- hisfranchise -- in his hometown of Dallas. Pete Rozelle and the NFL owners were not about to concede the state of Texas to the AFL, so an expansion franchise was promptly awarded to this deep-pocketed oil man. Read more at The Dallas Morning News.
Murchison Jr. Nominated for pro football hall of fame
Elite group nominates Clint Murchison Jr. for Pro Football Hall of Fame
Murchison was Dallas Cowboys founder and delivered championship NFL football to his hometown
(DALLAS, May 22, 2018) – A legendary alliance of former Dallas Cowboys players, executives, coaches and family members, today placed Clint Murchison Jr.’s name in nomination for the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame. Murchison was the founder and owner of the internationally-known Dallas Cowboys franchise. He worked tirelessly in the 1950s to bring professional football to Dallas. He finally received approval to form the organization in 1959, and its inaugural season launched in 1960. With Murchison’s deep pockets, sound leadership selection and wise tutelage, the Cowboys evolved into an extraordinarily successful NFL franchise.
Fifteen high-profile members of the Cowboys family sent the nomination letter to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The signors include:
Roger Staubach, Quarterback, 1985 HOF Inductee.
Bob Lilly, Defensive Tackle, 1980 HOF Inductee. First-ever Cowboys draft pick
Mike Ditka, Tight End, 1988 HOF Inductee. Cowboys player, Assistant Coach and later, Chicago Bears Head Coach.
Tony Dorsett, Running Back, 1994 HOF Inductee.
Drew Pearson, Wide Receiver, 1970s NFL All-Decade Team.
Gene Stallings, Assistant Cowboys Coach, 14 seasons, championship college coach.
Tom Landry Jr. Son of HOF Inductee Coach Tom Landry.
Randy White, Defensive Tackle, 1994 HOF Inductee.
Lee Roy Jordan, Middle Linebacker, Cowboys Ring of Honor.
Dan Reeves, Running Back, Assistant Cowboys Coach, only head coach to lead two teams to Super Bowls.
Mel Renfro, Cornerback, HOF inductee in 1996.
Rayfield Wright, Offensive Tackle, 1996 HOF inductee.
Cliff Harris, Safety, 1970s NFL All-Decade Team.
Charlie Waters, Strong Safety, three-time Pro Bowler. Holds record for most NFL Playoff appearances.
Joe Bailey, Former Vice President, Dallas Cowboys.
Also signing the nomination letter are Clint Murchison’s four children, Clint Murchison III, Burk Murchison, Robert Murchison of Dallas and Coke Anne Murchison Wilcox of Westport, Connecticut.
The Letter of Nomination for Murchison portrays him as a “risk taker” because he overcame enormous hurdles to establish the Cowboys in Dallas. The venture, however, produced outstanding rewards including 20 consecutive winning seasons, 17 years of playoff appearances, five trips to the Super Bowl and two Lombardi trophies. Perhaps, most importantly, historians credit Clint’s Cowboys with giving the City of Dallas a point of pride and a means of recovery following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November, 1963.
“Clint Murchison was such a low-key leader,” said Roger Staubach, “but he was the guy who charted the course and sailed the ship. Without him, there would be no Dallas Cowboys.”
With his development of Texas Stadium, Clint Murchison Jr. became the father of the modern NFL stadium, pioneering many firsts that are commonplace in today’s facilities. Murchison envisioned a venue that would enhance fan experience. He provided excellent sight lines, seat comfort, and, of course, the famous “hole in the roof” to keep fans dry while allowing the weather elements to remain part the game. Texas Stadium was the first to offer luxury suites on a commercial scale and first to use seat option bonds to help finance construction without use of taxpayer dollars. Opening in October of 1971, the building instantly became a national icon and a template for the modern football stadium.
“This guy didn’t know the meaning of the word, can’t,” said Coach Mike Ditka, “and he didn’t listen to all the naysayers. He made the right decisions, hired the best people, and he gave Coach Landry an unpredented10-year contract even after four losing seasons. He was a true role model.”
More information about Clint Murchison can be found in the enclosed resolution presented to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In addition, background, photos, a biography and a short video are available at www.clintmurchisonjr.com.