When Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, his first order of business was to fire Tom Landry, their legendary coach of 29 years. The only coach they'd had up to that point. Anyone could understand that a new owner might want to go in a different direction, but a fair and decent man, a man with any class at all, would have explained that privately to Coach Landry and given him a chance to retire with the dignity his place in professional football had earned.
Jones's second order of business was to hang on to Tex Schramm, the architect of the Cowboy brand, long enough to learn the ropes before putting Schramm unceremoniously out to pasture.
Had Jones any sense of honor he would have renamed Texas Stadium, Tom Landry Stadium. He didn't do that. And it took four years for Jones to induct Landry into the Cowboy's Ring of Honor, three years AFTER the NFL waived the usual waiting period and inducted Landry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Schramm wasn't inducted into the Ring of Honor until 2003, three months after his death, and eleven years after he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It took the Texas Legislature to properly acknowledge Landry's contribution to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area by naming Interstate 30 between the two, "Tom Landry Highway." They did so in 2001, the year after Landry died. We used to call that stretch "The Turnpike."
The Cowboys have had success with Jones as owner, winning 3 Super Bowls and Cowboy fans remain fans, but there still exists a resentment of Jones for the way he treated Landry and Schramm, and, later, his Super Bowl winning coach, Jimmy Johnson.
In 2009, Jones built, thanks to the city of Arlington, an amazing Stadium that will host the Super Bowl tomorrow (Sunday February 6th). Jones was hoping that this would put his dream stadium over the top in terms of legend.
From this past Tuesday, ice, snow and amazingly cold temperatures for this area (I've never seen it like this) have come close to shutting us down. Add to that, this last day when the ice and snow started to melt, much of it slid off the top of the stadium damaging structures and injuring some workers. One wonders whether the stadium will be deemed fit by the various safety marshals to allow people in. This has caused many to wonder whether Dallas will ever get another Super Bowl.
If the game is delayed, then we have the answer.
All for you, Jerrah.
And somewhere, I suspect that Tex Schramm is laughing, and Tom Landry is smiling.
I leave for San Francisco in less than two weeks, and am proud of the first hundred pages of Catch a Falling Star. I've said this before, but I'm quite serious when I say that this draft will be the last until and unless someone wants it. I have too many other stories to tell.