Next Sunday morning, April 11th our very own Texas Stadium will be imploded. The Cowboys played in Texas Stadium from 1971 to 2008. It opened on October 24, 1971 which was the sixth game of the season for the Cowboys. They beat New England in that first game 44-21 and would not lose one game in the new stadium in 1971 as they went on to win their first Super Bowl in team history.
What most people do not know is that the famous hole in the roof of Texas Stadium was never supposed to happen. The stadium was supposed to be a dome, but during construction it was realized that the stadium could not support the the weight of the entire roof. Public funding ran out before the support structure could be modified. This is why most of the stands ended up being covered, but not the playing field.
It was Dallas linebacker D D Lewis who was the first to make this comment about the hole in the roof.
“Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch his favorite team play”
Texas Stadium has a lot of history in it. Great games, bad games, strange games. I remember back in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was a show on called “Dallas”. Every week I would make sure to be in front of the TV as the show came on because there would be an overhead shot of the stadium showing one of the end zones. I would smile, point and just node my head. Then I would walk away. I had no interest in the show, I just wanted to see my teams stadium.
Here are some of my greatest memories from games at Texas Stadium…
11/27/80…Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys beat Seattle 51-7. The Cowboys had a 51-0 lead before the Seahawks scored late in the fourth quarter.
12/28/80…Wildcard Game. The Cowboys beat the Rams 34-13. Both teams were tied at 13-13 at the half. Cowboys outscored the Rams 21-0 in the second half as Tony Dorsett rushed for 160 yards.
10/25/81…The Cowboys beat Miami 28-27. Down 27-14 late in the fourth quarter, Danny White threw two touchdown passes to win the game. White threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Tony Dorsett rushed for 122 yards.
11/26/81…Thanksgiving Day. Dallas beat Chicago 10-9. The Bears dominated for most of the game and Walter Payton rushed for 179 yards. Late in the fourth quarter with the Bears leading 9-3 Ron Springs scored the game winner for Dallas.
1/2/82…Divisional Playoff. The Cowboys beat Tampa Bay 38-0. Dominating defensive performance as the Cowboys collected four sacks plus many more hits on Tampa quarterback Doug Williams. They also intercepted Williams four times.
10/23/83…The Raiders beat the Cowboys 40-38. I understand this was a loss for the Cowboys, but it was such a great game. The Cowboys had a 7-0 record going into this game. Both teams battled to six lead changes. With the Cowboys leading 38-37 the Raiders kicked the game winning field goal as time expired.
9/9/85…Season Opener. The Cowboys beat Washington 44-14. The Cowboys defense collected seven turnovers including five interceptions from Joe Theismann. The Texas Stadium crowd ended the game by singing Happy Birthday to Theismann as he sat on the bench after being pulled from the game.
12/15/85…NFC East Champions. The Cowboys beat the Giants 28-21. The Cowboys go through three quarterbacks in the game (Danny White, Steve Pelluer and Gary Hogeboom). The highlight of the game was when Ed Jones tipped a Phil Simms pass, Jim Jeffcoat catches the tip and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.
9/8/86…Season Opener. The Cowboys beat the Giants 31-28. Both teams battle back and forth all game. Newly signed Herschel Walker dives over for the winning touchdown late in the game.
11/22/90…Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys beat Washington 27-17. Emmitt Smith rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The second touchdown coming from 48 yards out to seal the game.
9/29/91…The Cowboys beat the Giants 21-16. To me this seemed to be the turning point in the Jimmy Johnson era. The Cowboys were winning 14-3 and then gave the lead up. Then down 16-14 late in the game Troy Aikman connected with Michael Irvin to win the game.
9/7/92…Season Opener. The Cowboys beat Washington 23-10. The season started with a safety as Issiac Holt blocked a punt out of the end zone. Kelvin Martin added a 79 yard punt return and Emmitt Smith rushed for 140 yards.
11/1/92…The Cowboys beat Philadelphia 20-10. After being crushed earlier in the season 31-7, the Cowboys gave the Eagles a beating in the rematch. Emmitt Smith rushed for 163 yards.
11/26/92…Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys beat the Giants 30-3. Wasn’t much of a contest from the start as Emmitt Smith rushed for 120 yards including a 68 yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
1/10/93…Divisional Playoff. The Cowboys beat Philadelphia 34-10. In the third meeting of the season once again the Cowboys beat up on the Eagles. The Dallas defense collected five sacks and held the Eagles to just 178 yards of offense. Emmitt Smith rushed for 114 yards.
11/7/93…The Cowboys beat the Giants 31-9. Troy Aikman finished the game 11 of 13 for 162 yards and two touchdowns to Alvin Harper. Emmitt Smith rushed for 117 yards. The most important part of the game was that Tom Landry was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
1/23/94…Championship Game. The Cowboys beat San Francisco 38-21. Troy Aikman left the game with a head injury, but not before going 14 of 18 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Emmitt Smith rushed for 88 yards.
1/14/96…Championship Game. The Cowboys beat Green Bay 38-27. Classic battle between the Cowboys and Packers. Losing 27-24 going into the fourth quarter, Emmitt Smith scored two of his three touchdowns to win the game. He also rushed for 150 yards.
10/27/02…The Seahawks beat the Cowboys 17-14. This had nothing to do with the game itself considering the Cowboys lost. But it was also the game that Emmitt Smith became the All-Time leading NFL rusher as he passed Walter Payton. Highlight of the game for me was the special moment Emmitt Smith and Darryl Johnston shared on the sideline.
11/23/06…Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys beat Tampa Bay 38-10. New quarterback Tony Romo hit on 22 of 29 passes for 306 yards and five touchdowns. Marion Barber rushed for 83 yards and had two receiving touchdowns.
12/14/08…The Cowboys beat the Giants 20-8. The Cowboys sacked Eli Manning eight times and intercepted him twice. Tony Romo went 20 of 30 for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Tashard Choice rushed for 91 yards and scored from 38 yards out late in the game to seal it. This was also the very last victory in Texas Stadium.
Goodbye Texas Stadium
Thanks for all the memories