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.
When considering the history of professional sports, and specifically the NFL, Murchison is a forgotten figure when he should be regarded as one of the most important contributors to both.
Murchison was renowned for his ability to spend money, and he actually had to sell the Cowboys to Bum Bright because he needed cash when the real estate and oil markets collapsed in the 1980s.
Murchison died in 1987 at the age of 63.
Clint is the one who hired Tex Schramm and Tom Landry, both of whom are in the Hall of Fame.
So much of the innovation to the Cowboys of the 1960s is often credited to Tex, Tom and Canton-bound Gil Brandt, but Murchison made this all go. Tom said as much.
Murchison was Jerry before Jerry.
Murchison had previously tried to buy NFL franchises before he was granted an expansion team and created the Dallas Cowboys in 1960; he wanted something beyond what a pro football team had become in the 1960s.
He never fired Landry even though the Cowboys won a total of 13 games in their first four years combined. That patience eventually led to one of the most successful runs in the history of pro sports.
The Astrodome in Houston receives credit as setting the example for the modern day sports stadium, but Murchison’s vision for a new home for the Dallas Cowboys is the one that did it.
In my (not quite) best selling book, “Texas Stadium: America’s Home Field,” I interviewed architects, city leaders and sports executives, all of whom said that venue created the template for every future stadium in America.
Before Texas Stadium, watching a sporting event was basically akin to the Cotton Bowl, where the Cowboys had previously played their home games.
At Texas Stadium, Murchison introduced luxury, suites, fan comfort, amenities to sports in the U.S. that had never been previously experienced. Any time you walk into a pro sports stadium today, you can see Murchison’s influence.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has always been too inclusive for my preferences, but if it is going to recognize and celebrate those who own the NFL franchises themselves, there is no way the man who created the Dallas Cowboys should be left out.
BIG MAC BITES
Speaking of The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial, for those of you wondering if Bill Murray will join the Pro-Am on Wednesday, that’s a no.
Murray has entertained the gallery in each of the last two years at Colonial playing with Jordan Spieth. The world’s most famous greenskeeper, however, simply can’t make it this year.
St. Louis Cardinals fans flocked to the Ballpark in Arlington for the three-game series against the Rangers to the point where it actually became a bit embarrassing late in the game on Friday evening.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was batting and a chant of “Yadd-y! Yadd-y!” actually took over the Ballpark. Thankfully, Rangers fans eventually drowned this out with cheers of their own.
Cardinals fans remain an obnoxious bunch in their own, quaint Midwestern way. Few fan bases are as good at congratulating itself for being classy, smart and just totally “above it.”
Netlflix junkies, take 65 minutes to watch “The Perfect Bid.” It’s the documentary on the wholesome math teacher who figured out how to beat “The Price is Right.”
Depressing: Kevin Durant is one of the top three players in the NBA, and entering Saturday his Golden State Warriors have not lost since he suffered a strained calf in the Western Conference semis against Houston.
My good friend, reader Drew Williams emailed me to ask, “Now that we are a quarter through the season, how are you feeling about your guarantee at the start that the Astros will not make the playoffs? Regards, Drew.”
I hate to admit this, but I was hacked.