We got a hat. I want a ring.
Originally Posted by Hostile
The information I am about to share with you is not very well known. The Cowboys were not the first professional football team in Dallas. The Dallas Texans were, but not the Lamar Hunt owned Texans. Back in 1952 the New York Yanks moved to Dallas and changed their name to the Texans.
The 1952 version of the Texans drew tiny crowds to the Cotton Bowl. In Texas, college football was king. The Texans were lucky to draw 5000 fans to their games. Not even when legendary Texans like Bobby Layne and Doak Walker came to play did the crowds show up. The Texans though had one rabid fan. His name was Clint Murchison.
He applied in 1952 to take over the Texans. Bert Bell and the NFL had to take over the Texans before the 1952 season ended. Instead of granting Murchison the team he gave it to Carroll Rosenbloom and they became the Baltimore Colts who started play in 1953.
[View Full Quote]Having an NFL team that close to Washington, DC royally pissed off GP Marshall. He was very territorial. Territory is the main reason why he moved his team from Boston to DC. It gave him a wider area to control. He didn't have to share so much space with the Giants. He then focused on controlling the entire southern part of the US. I am often critical of Marshall, but the fact remains that he is the person most responsible for getting professional football on TV and increasing its popularity. He adopted elements of the college game like bands and fight songs to try and fire up the crowds.
Clint Murchison then tried to buy the San Francisco 49ers and move them to Dallas. That deal fell through. Now hold your breath.
In 1958 Clint had a deal in place to buy the Washington Redskins and move the team to Dallas. The deal included a clause where GP Marshall was going to run the team for 5 years. Just before the deal would be struck Marshall demanded he get to run the team for 10 years. Clint told him to go to hell.
We came that close to having that racist running the Cowboys instead of Tex Schramm and rooting for the stinking Redskins.
Clint then was told by Bert Bell to try and buy the Cardinals from the Bidwell family. That is when Lamar Hunt got in on the negotiations. He too was told to try and buy the Cardinals. The Bidwell family so frustrated Hunt that he started trying to build the AFL.
Why would GP Marshall move the Redskins? Simple, he too saw the potential for football in Texas where it is rabid, and he knew he would not have to share an area with Baltimore. Like I said, he was very territorial. The price he and Clint agreed upon was reportedly $600,000. It was the control factor that ultimately pissed Clint off.
So Hunt went off in a different direction to get his team. I honestly think Clint would have gone to the AFL too if they both had not been wanting a team for Dallas. Clint then had a real fight on his hands. He and Marshall were pretty much sworn enemies at that point. He also knew he was going to have to outwit Lamar Hunt who was wealthier than he was.
Getting the NFL to expand was the issue. GP Marshall was wholly against it. 12 teams was the perfect number as far as he was concerned. 14 was too much. Clint barreled on and that is when he decided to simply beat Marshall at every turn.
It started with him paying $2500 for the rights to the Redskins fight song. He then sought to have the anti-monopoly committee get involved. Marshall was hemmed in at every side and Clint held all the aces. The NFL agreed to add the Dallas Steers and the Minnesota Vikings. Both were slated to begin play in 1961, not 1960. However, because of Lamar Hunt's success in building the AFL Clint convinced the NFL owners that the Texans getting a 1 year head start was suicide.
So Marshall had very little to do with blocking Hunt. That was really the Bidwells who frustrated him so badly. He tried to block Clint or to take the territory for himself, but Clint whipped him at every turn.
I ended the original post saying the cost to start the Cowboys was $625,000. I was actually off by the $2500 Clint paid for the rights to the Redskins fight song. So it was actually $627,500. Of course there were a lot of other costs involved in negotiations, trips, etc.
Aren't you glad you don't have to stare at that awful burgundy and yellow (it isn't gold Redskins fans) or have to explain why a racist ran your team? It came very close to happening.
As always Hos you come through with great information.