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Hole in the Roof

The Dallas Cowboys, Clint Murchison Jr., and the Stadium That Changed American Sports Forever

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In 1966, when the still-young Dallas Cowboys franchise ended six years of agony with their first winning season, the team’s owner and founder, Clint Murchison Jr., son of a billionaire oilman, was feeling ambitious. He believed his team would be good, even special, for years to come. With such dreams dancing in his head, Murchison found that the aging Cotton Bowl in Dallas’s Fair Park was no longer a suitable home for what would soon be dubbed “America’s Team.”

Hole in the Roof: The Dallas Cowboys, Clint Murchison Jr., and the Stadium That Changed American Sports Forever tells the story of Texas Stadium, with its trademark hole in the roof, which served the Cowboys for 38 seasons without ever requiring a penny of public dollars. In 1966, though the Cotton Bowl was one of the newer stadiums in the National Football League, Murchison saw it as an outdated venue. What he envisioned was a shiny new stadium near downtown Dallas, but to realize his vision for what a professional sports venue could be—and the many benefits that the resulting revenue could generate—he needed buy-in from Dallas city leaders.

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