50 Seasons Series

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Review each year in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, starting with the planning stages in 1959 and through the present day.

 

50 Seasons Series: Best Moment of 1960

This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.

For each season covered in this series, we will take a look at the
best plays and other moments during that year. Obviously, the 1960
season for the Dallas Cowboys did not feature many shining moments.
However, there were a few worth mentioning.

Moment #1: LeBaron and Doran Provide Fireworks in the Opening Game

Just two and a half minutes into the first regular season game in
Cowboys history against Pittsburgh, Eddie LeBaron hit end Jim Doran on
a 75-yard touchdown pass. A block by halfback Don McIlhenny helped to
spring Doran for the run after the catch.

Why this is noteworthy: Doran had two 100-yard games for
the Cowboys in 1960, including the game against the Steelers, which
helped him earn a Pro Bowl berth.

Moment #2: LeBaron Hits Clarke to Tie the Eagles in Week 2

LeBaron connected on his second long touchdown pass in as many
games during week 2 when he hit Frank Clarke on a 75-yarder that
allowed Dallas to tie Philadelphia in the second quarter.

Why this is noteworthy: Clarke was not a starter in 1960, but he
showed flashes that allowed him to develop into a solid player in the
team’s early history. The Eagles won the NFL title that season, so
managing to stay tied with Philadelphia in the second half was not a
small feat for the young Dallas team.

Moment #3: 2-Inch Pass Sets Record

In week 3 of the 1960 season, LeBaron hit **** Bielski on the shortest recorded pass play in NFL history: two inches.

Why this is noteworthy: Obviously, any NFL record is noteworthy. This one falls more on the side of infamous.

Moment #4: Another Long TD Pass to Clarke Nearly Beats 49ers

Clarke scored on the longest touchdown of the 1960 season, a
76-yard pass from LeBaron against San Francisco. The play gave Dallas a
14-9 lead, but that lead vanished quickly as Dallas fell, 26-14.

Why this is noteworthy: Clarke again showed his big-play ability on what the Dallas Morning News described as the Cowboys’ home run pass.

Moment #5: LeBaron Hits Billy Howton to Tie the Giants

With only 2:37 remaining in the game and the Cowboys trailing by
7, LeBaron hit receiver Billy Howton on an 11-yard slant pattern for a
touchdown, which tied the game at 31.

Why this is noteworthy: The Cowboys fought to a tie on the road
against the Giants, who had been an NFL power for several seasons. This
clutch play allowed Dallas to avoid an 0-12 season.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote on the best moment of the 1960 season for the Dallas Cowboys.

My Vote: Howton’s Catch

It’s tough not to go with Billy Howton’s catch against the Giants, given that the only really positive moment of the season was the tie at New York.

50 Seasons Series: 1960 Regular Season, Part 2

This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.

 

Below are summaries of the six games played in the second half of the 1960 season.

Please click here for the summaries of games 1 through 6.

Week 7: November 6, 1960

Los Angeles Rams 38, Dallas 13

Frank Ryan, who later led the Cleveland Browns to a NFL
Championship, threw three touchdown passes as the Cowboys suffered
another blowout loss. The more significant aspect of this game was it
featured the debut of Don Meredith as starting quarterback. He
struggled, to say the least, as the Cowboys completed only nine passes
for 75 yards and suffered three interceptions. Rookie fullback Walt
Kowalczyk put in the best performance of the day, rushing for 91 yards
and a touchdown.

Dallas Morning News: Cowboys Bow, 38-13, For 7th Straight Loss | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 8: November 13, 1960

Green Bay 41, Dallas 7

Tom Landry turned to Don Heinrich as the starter in week 8 of the
1960 season, but he fared no better than Meredith or Eddie LeBaron. The
Cowboys had no answer for the Green Bay ground attack, which gained 165
yards. Jim Taylor had three touchdowns. Dallas did not score until
midway through the fourth quarter, when Meredith hit Kowalczyk on a
14-yard touchdown pass.

Dallas Morning News: Green Bay Runs Over Dallas Cowboys, 41-7 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 9: November 20, 1960

San Francisco 26, Dallas 14

The Cowboys could not hold on to a 14-9 fourth quarter lead,
giving up 17 late points and falling 26-14 to the 49ers. About 10,000
Cotton Bowl fans saw the longest play of the 1960 season when LeBaron
hit Frank Clarke on a 76-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that
gave Dallas the 14-9 lead. However, on the ensuing drive, San Francisco
quarterback John Brodie drove the 49ers into Dallas territory, and
running back C. R. Roberts put the 49ers on top for good with a 20-yard
touchdown run. Dallas fumbled on two consecutive kickoff returns, and
San Francisco was able to put the game away with 10 more points.

Dallas Morning News: 49ers Scuttle Cowboy Lead, Post 26-14 Win | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 10: November 27, 1960

Chicago 17, Dallas 7

The “stubborn, luckless” Cowboys fell behind 14-0 in the first
half to the Bears, who gained a total of 221 yards on the ground.
Dallas cut the lead to 14-7 when Heinrich hit running back Don
McIlhenny on a 64-yard catch-and-run. However, in the fourth quarter,
the Cowboys turned the ball over deep in their own territory when a
punt took a crazy bounce and hit safety Bill Butler. Chicago converted
the turnover by kicking a field goal, which put the game out of reach.

Dallas Morning News: Cowboys Tumble, 17-7 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 11: December 4, 1960

Dallas 31, N.Y. Giants 31

In what Tex Schramm later described as the Cowboys’ Super Bowl for
the 1960 season, Dallas managed a 31-31 tie with Landry’s old team, the
Giants. Eddie LeBaron played the entire game, completing 17 of 35
passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns, including an 11-yarder to
Billy Howton with 2:37 remaining. Running back L.G. Dupre also had a
good game, catching two touchdown passes from LeBaron and running for
another.

Dallas Morning News: Cowboys Battle New York To 31-31 Deadlock | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 12: December 11, 1960

Detroit 23, Dallas 14

The Cowboys played their final game of the 1960 season at Briggs
Stadium in Detroit. Lion running back Nick Pietrosante scored on
touchdown runs of 43 and 40 yards in the first half, giving Detroit a
16-7 lead. Dallas was unable to make a dent in the lead in the second
half and lost for the eleventh time.

Dallas Morning News: Cowboys Lose Finale, 23-14 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Final Synopsis of the 1960 Season

The 1960 Cowboys had chances to make strides, but nearly all of the
newspaper accounts of those games note that Dallas was prone to make
mistakes. The Cowboys scored 14 or fewer points in five of their last
six games and in nine of their games during the season. On the other
hand, the team stayed in several of their games until late, which was a
positive sign.

50 Seasons Series: 1960 Regular Season, Part 1

For
each of the 50 seasons covered over the next year, many of the posts
will focus on the individual games. For the sake of keeping the posts a
little bit shorter, these posts will divide each season into two parts.

The 1960 season for the Cowboys is a little bit easier to cover
than the others. The regular season still consisted of 12 games, and as
most people know, the Dallas team suffering from a nearly complete lack
of talent struggled to an 0-11-1 record. The 1960 season was not
without its exciting moments, though most would still probably rather
forget that this season actually occurred.

Week 1: September 24, 1960 in Dallas

Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 28

The Cowboys actually led 14-0 in their first regular season game
in history, played in the Cotton Bowl. Touchdown passes by Eddie
LeBaron to Jim Doran (75 yards) and Frank Dugan (7 yards) put Dallas in
front by two touchdowns. Dallas even led at the half, thanks to a
five-yard touchdown run by Don McIlhenny, the former star at SMU who
was picked up from Green Bay.

The Dallas defense had a difficult time stopping Pittsburgh
quarterback Bobby Layne, who threw for four touchdowns. Nevertheless,
LeBaron hit Doran on another touchdown pass covering 54 yards, and the
Cowboys held a 28-21 lead in the third quarter. After the Steelers tied
the game late in the third quarter, Dallas again drove into Pittsburgh
territory. However, LeBaron was intercepted by Bert Rechichar at the
Pittsburgh 26. Both teams had their chances down the stretch, but it
was the Steelers who pulled it out, as Layne hit running back Tom Tracy
on a deep pass pattern, and Tracy ran it in for a 65-yard touchdown.

LeBaron finished with 345 yards passing and three touchdowns, but
he was also picked off three times. Doran had 154 yards on four
receptions, which certainly helped his cause when he was voted to the
Pro Bowl that year.

Dallas Morning News: Steelers Outscore Cowboys, 35-28 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 2: September 30, 1960

Philadelphia 27, Dallas 25

The Cowboys had another tough contest in their second game of 1960
against the Eagles, who went on to win the World Championship that
season. The big difference in the game came down to extra points, as
Philadelphia defensive back Bobby Freeman blocked two extra point
attempts by Fred Cone.

Dallas trailed 13-6 at the half, but a 75-yard touchdown pass from
LeBaron to Clarke nearly even things up. But Freeman blocked the extra
point, and Dallas trailed 13-12. The Eagles took a 20-12 lead thanks to
a 10-yard run by Billy Ray Barnes early in the fourth quarter. The
Cowboys bounced back with a touchdown run by LeBaron, but Cone’s kick
was blocked again. A 23-yard touchdown run by Barnes effectively put
the game out of reach, though LeBaron’s touchdown pass to Gene Babb
kept the final score close.

Dallas Morning News: Eagles Turn Back Cowboys | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 3: October 9, 1960

Washington 26, Dallas 14

Washington kicker Bob Khayat hit four field goals, as the Redskins
beat the Cowboys in the first road game for the Dallas franchise.
LeBaron had a another big day passing, finishing with 296 yards, but he
threw three interceptions. His two touchdown passes went Clarke and
tight end **** Bielski. Bielski’s touchdown catch, which cut the
Redskin lead to 19-14 in the fourth quarter was notable for its
distance. The pass play officially gained two inches, which is still an
NFL record.

Washington put the game away thanks to a drive led by quarterback
Ralph Guglielmi. He hit Sam Horner on a long pass play, which set up a
short touchdown run by Johnny Olszewski.

Dallas Morning News: Redskins Tip Cowboys, 26-14, on 4 Field Goals | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 4: October 16, 1960

Cleveland 48, Dallas 7

Dallas suffered its first blowout loss in week four of the 1960
season, thanks to the play of Bobby Mitchell. He scored three of the
Browns’ first five touchdowns, including a 46-yard pass reception, a
30-yard run, and a 90-yard kickoff return. The Cowboys trailed 28-0 at
halftime. The game was so bad that both Don Heinrich and Don Meredith
saw playing time in the second half. Heinrich’s touchdown pass to Billy
Howton was the only score of the game for the Cowboys.

Dallas Morning News: Cleveland Rocks Cowboys, 48 to 7 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 5: October 23, 1960

St. Louis 12, Dallas 10

The Cowboys very nearly won their first NFL game against St.
Louis. A three-yard run by L.G. Dupre gave Dallas a 10-9 fourth quarter
lead. However, Dupre later fumbled the ball, and following the fumble,
St. Louis drove into field goal range. Gerry Perry, 240-pound kicker
and defensive end, kicked an 18-yard field goal to give the Cardinals a
12-10 win.

John Roach, who later played for Dallas, had to replace an injured
George Izo for St. Louis, and the Cardinals managed only four
completions during the game. However, Dallas could not stop John David
Crow and the St. Louis rushing attack, which gained 226 yards on the
ground. The Dallas running game struggled, as the Cowboys only managed
51 rushing yards.

Dallas Morning News: Late Field Goal Beats Cowboys, 12-10 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Week 6: October 30, 1960

Baltimore 45, Dallas 7

For the second time in three weeks, Dallas suffered a blowout
loss. Raymond Berry caught touchdown passes of 68, 52, and 70 yards
from Johnny Unitas, as the Colts took a 31-0 halftime lead. Dallas
managed only 147 yards, and the lone touchdown was a third quarter pass
from Heinrich to Howton.

Dallas Morning News: Baltimore Tramples Cowboys, 45 to 7 | Box Score (Pro-Football-Reference)

Synopsis of the First Half of the 1960 Season

In their first three games of the 1960 season, Dallas averaged 355
on offense and scored an average of 22.3 points. In week four through
six, though, Dallas managed an average of only 163 yards per game, and
the Cowboys picked up a combined total of 26 first downs in three
games. The Cowboys had realistic chances to beat two of their first six
opponents (Pittsburgh and St. Louis), but the young team had trouble
putting games away.

Coming Up

The Cowboys continued to struggle during the second half of the 1960 season, but a tie gives fans something to cheer about.

Classic Dallas Cowboys Trivia Answers

Here are the answers to the trivia questions posted on Saturday:

1. What position did Tex Schramm hold immediately before being named as general manager of the Cowboys (then the Rangers)?

He was assistant director of sports, where he oversaw the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, California. These games were held less than a month after the NFL granted a franchise to Dallas.

2. With which team was Schramm previously associated prior to holding the position from question #1?

Schramm held several positions with the Los Angeles Rams, including publicity director, assistant director, and general manager.

3. Who recommended Schramm to Clint Murchison, Jr.?

George Halas of the Chicago Bears.

4. What job did Gil Brandt hold when he was hired by the Dallas franchise?

He was a baby photographer prior to joining the Cowboys.

5. What was Brandt’s first title with the team?

Player scouting director.

6. Along with Murchison, who was the other franchisee (co-owner) when Dallas was awarded an NFL franchise?

Bedford Wynne

7. Which two teams originally drafted Don Meredith?

The Chicago Bears of the NFL and the Dallas Texans of the AFL.

8. How did the Dallas franchise obtain the rights to Meredith?

Dallas traded future draft picks to the Chicago Bears for the rights to Meredith, who was taken in the third round by the Bears. The team then signed Meredith to a personal services contract, which was contingent on Dallas receiving a franchise.

9. On January 3, 1960, Meredith starred in what game?

Meredith starred in the East-West Shrine Game on that date. His nine-yard touchdown pass to Don Bass of the College of the Pacific won the game for the West.

10. True or False: Meredith originally agreed to a three-year, $100,000 per-year contract with an AFL team before backing out of the deal.

False. Meredith was reportedly offered this amount, but he immediately made it clear he would play in the NFL.

11. Shortly after Lamar Hunt and other owners announced the formation of the American Football League, Chicago’s George Halas in August 1959 announced that two cities would likely receive NFL franchises. Dallas was one city. What was the other?

The other city was Houston, which had not yet been offered an AFL franchise.

12. What did Hunt call the move announced by Halas?

Hunt referred to the move as “sabotage.”

13. Which franchise was Murchison interested in purchasing in 1952 but could not because he was out of the country?

Murchison wanted to buy the Dallas Texans before the franchise was sold to Carroll Rosenbloom, who moved the team to Baltimore to become the Colts. According to Dallas Cowboys Trivia Challenge by Gary Stratton and Robert Krug, Murchison was in South America at the time and was unable to buy the team. Peter Golenbock in Landry’s Boys, however, reported that Murchison asked NFL commissioner Bert Bell for a 24-hour grace period to study the team’s books. Bell refused the request and awarded Rosenbloom the franchise. Golenbock’s account is probably accurate.

14. Which current NFL franchise did Murchison try to purchase during the 1950s?

There are actually two- the Chicago Cardinals and the Washington Redskins.

15. At the NFL owners’ meeting in Miami in January 1960, four cities were in the running to receive an expansion team. In addition to Dallas, what were the other three cities?

The other three cities included Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and St. Louis. The Cardinals later that year moved from Chicago to St. Louis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul received an expansion team in 1961. Miami received an expansion team in the AFL in 1966.

16. Tom Landry succeeded which quarterback at the University of Texas in the late 1940s?

Bobby Layne.

17. Landry reportedly had at least three head coaching offers prior to accepting the job with the Cowboys. Which teams were interested in hiring him?

Three other teams included the Los Angeles Rams, who had just fired coach Sid Gillman; the Houston Oilers of the AFL, who eventually hired Lou Rymkus; and the Dallas Texans, who hired Hank Stram, a backfield coach with the University of Miami.

18. True or False: Landry served as a coach during a pro football game at the Cotton Bowl prior to his arrival as head coach of the Cowboys in 1960.

True. The New York Giants travelled to Dallas in August 1959 to play an exhibition game against the World Champion Baltimore Colts in the Cotton Bowl. Landry was still the defensive coach of the Giants at that time.

19. Landry was well-known as a businessman in Dallas before he was hired as the head coach of the Dallas franchise. What was his area of business during the offseason?

Landry sold insurance in Dallas during the off-seasons.

20. In December 1959, Dallas tried to obtain the rights to a halfback who chose instead to sign with the AFL’s Dallas Texans. Who was this player?

Abner Haynes.

50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series: Building the 1960 Dallas Cowboys

This is the first entry in the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series on this blog. Today marks the 49th anniversary of the date the NFL granted a new franchise in Dallas to Clint Murchison, Jr. and Bedford Wynne, so this seems like a good starting point.

This entry focuses on how the Cowboys developed the original 1960 roster, which was probably the least talented among any in the history of the franchise. Most of the names have been long since forgotten, but not on here.

The NFL held its college draft in late November 1959, so the Dallas franchise could not have participated in it at that time. George Halas drafted SMU quarterback Don Meredith but then traded him to Dallas. Without a formal team, Murchison and Wynne signed Meredith to a personal services contract reportedly worth $150,000, which guaranteed that Dallas would have a franchise player for most of the decade. The other player Dallas signed at this time was New Mexico running back Don Perkins, who gained more than 6,000 yards rushing during his career in Dallas.

Expansion Draft

Other than Meredith and Perkins, most of the original 1960 Cowboys were not well-regarded and were picked up during the expansion draft or off the street. The expansion draft in 1960 allowed Dallas to take up to three players off of each of the existing 12 clubs, but those clubs were able to protect most of their players from the pool.

These facts have been posted here before, but here are some tidbits about the expansion draft and the results of the draft itself:

* Of the players selected, 22 played for the Cowboys at least during the 1960 season.
* The 22 players who made the 1960 team averaged 2.14 years with the team.
* 11 players played only one year with Dallas.
* Eight players (including Jack Patera, who was injured early in the 1961 season) played in 1960 and 1961.
* The three remaining players from the draft started for several years, including: Bob Fry, Tackle, 1960-64; Jerry Tubbs, Linebacker, 1960-66; and Frank Clarke, Wide Receiver, 1960-67.

Original Team Player Pos. Experience
Baltimore Colts L.G. Dupre RB 1955-59, Baltimore Colts; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys.
Ray Krouse DE 1951-1955, N.Y. Giants; 1956-57, Detroit Lions; 1958-59, Baltimore Colts; 1960, Washington Redskins.
Dave Sherer WR/P 1959, Baltimore Colts; 1960, Dallas Cowboys.
Chicago Bears Don Healy DT 1958-59, Chicago Bears; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys; 1962, Buffalo Bills (AFL).
Jack Johnson DB 1957-59, Chicago Bears; 1960-61, Buffalo Bills (AFL); 1961, Dallas Texans (AFL).
Pete Johnson RB 1959, Chicago Bears.
Cleveland Browns Leroy Bolden RB 1958-59, Cleveland Browns.
Frank Clarke WR/TE 1957-59, Cleveland Browns; 1960-67, Dallas Cowboys.
Ed Modzelewski RB 1952, Pittsburgh Steelers; 1955-59, Cleveland Browns.
Detroit Lions Charlie Ane C 1953-59, Detroit Lions
Gene Cronin LB 1956-59, Detroit Lions; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961-62, Washington Redskins.
Jim Doran WR 1951-59, Detroit Lions; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys.
Green Bay Packers Nate Borden DE 1953-59, Green Bay Packers; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys; 1962, Buffalo Bills (AFL).
Bill Butler S 1959, Green Bay Packers; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961, Pittsburgh Steelers; 1962-64, Minnesota Vikings.
Don McIlhenny RB 1956, Detroit Lions; 1957-59, Green Bay Packers; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys; 1962, San Francisco 49ers.
Los Angeles Rams Tom Franckhauser CB 1959, Los Angeles Rams; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys; 1962-63, Minnesota Vikings.
Bob Fry T 1953-59, Los Angeles Rams; 1960-64, Dallas Cowboys.
Duane Putnam G 1952-59, Los Angeles Rams; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961, Cleveland Browns; 1962, Los Angeles Rams.
New York Giants Al Barry G 1954, 1957, Green Bay Packers; 1958-59, New York Giants; 1960, Los Angeles Chargers (AFL).
Melwood “Buzz” Guy G 1958-59, New York Giants; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961, Denver Broncos (AFL); 1962, Houston Oilers (AFL).
Don Heinrich QB 1954-59, New York Giants; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961, Oakland Raiders (AFL).
Philadelphia Eagles Dick Bielski TE 1955-59, Philadelphia Eagles; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys; 1962-63, Baltimore Colts.
Gerry Delucca T 1959, Philadelphia Eagles.
Bil Striegel LB 1959, Philadelphia Eagles; 1960, Boston Patriots (AFL); 1960, Oakland Raiders (AFL)
Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Fisher T/DT 1959, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bobby Luna RB 1955, San Francisco 49ers; 1959, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ray Mathews WR 1951-59, Pittsburgh Steelers; 1960, Dallas Cowboys.
St. Louis (Chicago) Cardinals Bob Cross T 1952, Chicago Bears; 1954-55, Los Angeles Rams; 1957, San Francisco 49ers; 1958-59, Chicago Cardinals; 1960, Boston Patriots (AFL)
Ed Husmann DT 1953, 1956-59, Chicago Cardinals; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961-65, Houston Oilers.
Jack Patera LB 1955-57, Baltimore Colts; 1958-59, Chicago Cardinals; 1960-61, Dallas Cowboys.
San Francisco 49ers Fred Dugan WR 1958-59, San Francisco 49ers; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961-63, Washington Redskins.
John Gonzaga DE 1956-59, San Francisco 49ers; 1960, Dallas Cowboys; 1961-65, Detroit Lions; 1966, Denver Broncos (AFL).
Jerry Tubbs LB 1957-58, Chicago Cardinals; 1958-59, San Francisco 49ers; 1960-66, Dallas Cowboys.
Washington Redskins Tom Braatz LB 1957, 1958-59, Washington Redskins; 1958, Los Angeles Rams; 1960, Dallas Cowboys.
Joe Nicely C 1959, Washington Redskins (complete experience unknown).
Doyle Nix RB 1955, Green Bay Packers; 1958-59, Washington Redskins; 1960, Los Angeles Chargers (AFL); 1961, Dallas Texans (AFL).

Of the 27 players listed in Pro-Football-Encyclopedia as starters for the 1960 Cowboys, 16 came from the expansion draft. The Cowboys signed most of the other 11 as free agents or obtained them through trades. Here is a look at those starters.

Offensive Starters

QB Eddie LeBaron

Originally drafted: Washington Redskins / 10th / 123rd pick / 1950

LeBaron had retired from the Washington Redskins and was studying for the Texas bar in Midland, Texas. Although he had offers to do television work for ABC, he chose to agree to play for Dallas.

HB Don McIlhenny

Originally drafted: Detroit Lions / 3rd / 27th pick / 1956

Expansion draft pick from Green Bay.

HB L.G. Dupre

Originally drafted: Baltimore Colts / 3rd / 27th pick / 1955

Expansion draft pick from Baltimore. Dupre was a significant contributor to the 1958 NFL Champion Colts.

FB Walt Kowalczyk

Originally drafted: Philadelphia Eagles / 1st / 6th pick / 1958

Dallas obtained Kowalczyk in a trade with Detroit, which had signed the fullback after he spent two seasons with the Eagles.

FB Gene Babb

Originally drafted: San Francisco 49ers / 19th / 224th pick / 1957

Babb signed as a free agent after being out of football in 1959.

FL Billy Howton

Originally drafted: Green Bay Packers / 2nd / 15th pick / 1952

Howton signed as a free agent and was one of the best pick-ups for the original team.

SE Fred Dugan

Originally drafted: San Francisco 49ers / 7th / 80th pick / 1957

Expansion draft pick from San Francisco.

TE Jim Doran

Originally drafted: Detroit Lions / 5th / 55th pick / 1951

Expansion draft pick from Detroit.

LT Bob Fry

Originally drafted: Los Angeles Rams / 3rd / 36th pick / 1953

Expansion draft pick from the Los Angeles Rams.

LG Duane Putnam

Originally drafted: Los Angeles Rams / 6th / 66th pick / 1952

Expansion draft pick from the Los Angeles Rams.

C John Houser

The Cowboys claimed Houser off waivers after he spent three seasons with the L.A. Rams.

RG Buzz Guy

Originally drafted: Cleveland Browns / 3rd / 34th pick / 1958

Expansion draft pick from the New York Giants.

RG Mike Falls

Originally drafted: New York Giants / 20th / 237th pick / 1956

Falls was cut by Green Bay during training camp, and Dallas signed him just before the start of the 1960 season.

RT Paul Dickson

Originally drafted: Los Angeles Rams / 1st / 9th pick / 1959

Dallas signed Dickson after he played one season in Los Angeles.

Defensive Starters

LDE Nate Borden

Originally drafted: Green Bay Packers / 25th / 293rd pick / 1955

Expansion draft pick from Green Bay.

LDT Don Healy

Originally drafted: Chicago Bears / 3rd / 37th pick / 1958

Expansion draft pick from Chicago.

RDT Ed Husmann

Originally drafted: Chicago Cardinals / 9th / 99th pick / 1953

Expansion draft pick from the Cardinals.

RDE John Gonzaga

Expansion draft pick from San Francisco.

LLB Wayne Hansen

Originally drafted: Chicago Bears / 6th / 76th pick / 1950

Hansen was out of football in 1959 but signed with the Cowboys for the 1960 season.

MLB Jerry Tubbs

Originally drafted: Chicago Cardinals / 1st / 10th pick / 1957

Expansion draft pick from San Francisco.

RLB Gene Cronin

Originally drafted: Detroit Lions / 7th / 74th pick / 1956

Expansion draft pick from Detroit.

LCB Tom Franckhauser

Originally drafted: Los Angeles Rams / 3rd / 33rd pick / 1959

Expansion draft pick from the L.A. Rams.

RCB Don Bishop

The Cowboys claimed Bishop off waivers prior to the 1960 season.

LS Bob Bercich

Originally drafted: New York Giants / 15th / 179th pick / 1959

Dallas picked up Bercich from the Giants before the 1960 season.

RS Bill Butler

Originally drafted: Green Bay Packers / 19th / 217th pick / 1959

Expansion draft pick from Green Bay.

Special Teams

K Fred Cone

Originally drafted: Green Bay Packers / 3rd / 27th pick / 1951

Cone had been out of football for three years when he got his shot to make the Cowboys.

P Dave Sherer

Originally drafted: Baltimore Colts / 2nd / 24th pick / 1959

Expansion draft pick from Baltimore.

Other Significant Players

In addition to Meredith and Perkins, Dallas acquired two other players who had important roles in early team history. One was Frank Clarke, whom the Cowboys picked up in the expansion draft. The second was center Mike Connelly, who was an important backup lineman for many year and who started during the 1967 season when Dave Manders went out of action with an injury.

A Forgotten Founder of the Dallas Cowboys

Question #6 of yesterday’s trivia post asked who was the original co-owner of the Dallas Cowboys, along with Clint Murchison, Jr. Except for some fans who have been with the team for a long time and those who enjoy history and trivia, few probably would remember the name Bedford Wynne off the top of their heads.

Most accounts of the efforts to bring an NFL team to Dallas treated Murchison and Wynne as partners, and Wynne clearly served as the spokesman of this partnership. Wynne was the one who announced the hiring of Tex Schramm as general manager of the proposed team in November 1959. Wynne was also present at the meeting in Miami in 1960 when NFL owners officially approved the Dallas club as a franchise.

The picture above shows Wynne and Murchison, left, along with Redskins owner George Preston Marshall and Tex Schramm. Marshall had been one of the more vocal opponents of expansion, especially to the Southwest.

Wynne’s story is actually quite fascinating. Born July 14, 1923, he attended high school in Longview before graduating from the New Mexico Military Institute. He spent three and a half years in the Army and then attended the University of Texas. After graduating from UT, he moved on to SMU Law School and was later admitted to practice in Texas.

He came from a prominent family in East Texas. His father was a lawyer and active on the political scene. His brother was a successful real estate developer, and his uncle was a famous oilman. Wynne joined his family’s law firm and became a partner.

His interests were diverse. He was a director with such companies and organizations as Reliance Life Insurance Company, the Sweetwater Development Center, Junior Achievement, Children’s Development Center, the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, University of Texas Ex-Students Association, Highland Park United Methodist Church, and the nonprofit Garrett Foundation. He was also co-owner of Wynne & Black, an oil business, as well as the Garrett-Wynne Angus Ranch of Longmont, Colorado.

In 1959, he earned media attention when he bought a share of a famed Black Angus bull named Prince 105, which reportedly carried a hefty price tag of $230,000. During the same year, Wynne was actively involved with an effort to bring top professional bowlers to the Dallas area. At that time, he was an official with Great Southwest Lanes of Arlington.

When Dallas millionaire Lamar Hunt and others announced the formation of the American Football League during the summer of 1959, the NFL moved quickly to announce that the older league would expand as early as 1961. The first two cities named as possible locations were Dallas and Houston, and Murchison and Wynne appeared in the newspapers constantly during negotiations. These negotiations ultimately succeeded, and Dallas received a franchise a year earlier than originally announced.

Because Wynne appeared in the newspaper so often, many thought he was an equal co-owner. However, Clint Murchsion owned 95% of the team with his brother John, while Wynne was only a minority owner along with Toddie Lee Wynne and W.R. “Fritz” Hawn. Bedford Wynne held the position of director and secretary of the Cowboys.

In 1967, Wynne decided to sell his shares in the Cowboys to help organize the expansion New Orleans Saints. He also left his law practice in 1967 and began to focus on other business ventures.

After 1967, Wynne’s name surfaced less and less. In one interesting story, he won a camper at the Byron Nelson Classic in Fort Worth when he hit a tee shot closer to the mark than opponent Mickey Mantle.

He was chairman of a group that operated and managed Teen America Associates, which produced a teen beauty pageant for several years, and he later became president of Family Recovery Inc., a family counseling service.

Wynne died at the age of 65 on December 30, 1989 of a heart attack. He was survived by three daughters and a son, along with six grandchildren.

Interestingly, although Bedford Wynne has no entry on Wikipedia, his name shows up on Wikipedia under the entries for both the Dallas Cowboys and Clint Murchison, Jr. There is also an entry for Bedford’s brother, Angus, who founded Six Flags over Texas.

New Series: 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks

The National Football League was created in 1920 as the American Professional Football Conference. The actual birth of the NFL was August 20, 1920, when owners voted in Canton, Ohio to approve the formation of the new league. Using this date, this would mean that the league turned 50 years old in 1970, 75 years old in 1995, and so forth.

Instead of using those dates, however, the league has had a somewhat odd tradition of celebrating anniversaries by the number of seasons, not by the dates. Thus, the league celebrated its 50th season in 1969 and its 75th season in 1994.


The Dallas Cowboys were officially “born” on January 28, 1960, when NFL owners at a meeting in Miami approved a new franchise in Dallas and awarded the franchise to Clint Murchison, Jr. Consistent with the NFL’s anniversary celebrations, the Cowboys have celebrated their 25th and 40th seasons in 1984 and 1999, respectively, even though the Cowboys turned 25 years old in 1985 and 40 years old in 2000. As noted in an earlier post, the Cowboys will celebrate their 50th season in 2009.


Last off-season, this blog featured a series on the greatest players organized by their jersey numbers, which provided a context to summarize every player in team history up to that point. Beginning one week from today (on January 28, the 49th anniversary of the team’s formation), this blog will begin to feature a long series entitled 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks. A few ideas for blog entries include the following:

  • A summary of each game in team history;
  • A summary of every draft;
  • A summary of every roster, including the starters for each season;
  • Year-by-year trivia.

If there are any other ideas, please leave a comment. The final week of the series will begin on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, with that week’s focus on the 2009 Cowboys. Hopefully, we will have more optimism about the Cowboys then than we do now.