After 31 years, the Dallas Cowboys relocated their world headquarters from Irving to their new $1.5 billion state-of-the-art headquarters and training facility in Frisco.
The former Valley Ranch facility has been sold and is being leveled to make way for multi-family housing. As the building crumbles to the ground, many years of memories have surfaced. Many of which will be embedded in the minds of Cowboys ownership, coaches, players and fans alike.
Familiar with the expression, “If walls could talk"? Assuming the hypothetical, just what would the walls of this quarter of a century building have to share? Or, at the very least, memories that are suitable for sharing.
“I was considered hallowed ground by my loyal fans and ownership alike. I was tattooed on the brain of every NFL fan, wether you were a fan of the silver and blue or not. After all, I was home to America’s Team.”
“Original Team President and General Manager Tex Schramm’s vision would soon become reality and eventually a piece of Americana. I, too, was home to America’s Sweetheart’s, the world renown Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.”
“I was home to eight NFL head coaches but none as legendary as the man in the fedora, Tom Landry. Although I only had the pleasure of his presence for the final four years of his 29 year coaching career, it was unquestionably a highlight of my existence.”
“1989 was a year never to be forgotten. It shook my very foundation, as it did the entire Cowboys nation. Reflecting back, we only knew him as the Arkansas oil man who was ready to write a $140 million check for America’s Team, and, of course, my rights as well.
“Cowboys' former owner, Bum Bright sells, and new owner Jerry Jones’ era begins. New ownership certainly caught me by surprise and not even the strength of my walls nor the concrete of my pillars could time from drifting away, nor my sadness of saying goodbye to the only coach I’ve ever known, Tom Landry.”
“From Miami to Big D, Landry’s replacement, Jimmy Johnson. It was certainly a shift in the core of my very foundation. For players, it was Jimmy’s way or the highway.”
“The genius of Jimmy, the braintrust of the deal of all deals,’The Greatest Trade in NFL History,’ the Herschel Walker trade. Walker traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a multitude of draft picks and eventual player trades. All pre-calculated moves that would jump-start the teams rise to success.”
“I had only distant memories of the winning seasons we all enjoyed, but the plan was now in place, now that triplets had been deployed. Haley brought aboard, a story about to unfold, winning seasons long forgotten, 15 years in waiting, Super Bowl Dynasty of the 90s.”
“Back-to-back Lombardis, not even enough, Jimmy’s out and Barry Switzer is in. Yet, another Super Bowl win.”
“Primetime players, good times had by all, my ’Star’ never shined so brightly, but not even my ’Star’ could shine without darkness. Despite on-field success, my hallways were somber with the news of drug trials, alleged hired hitmen and sexual assaults. As is the case in life with most things, these too came to pass.”
“My ‘space’ was absent of the magic we’ve known, seasons of despair, was Bill Parcells the answered prayer?”
“Parcells takes over, an air of excitement, new stadium approved and even a playoff appearance. Despite the wild card loss, many would argue that Parcells was the answered prayer.”
“May 2, 2009, my saddest day of existence. A day that mother nature’s fury would challenge my very existence.The day that tornado strength winds would collapse the roof and walls of my indoor practice facility. In an attempt to escape the cascading debris. Twelve of the estimated 100 people in attendance were injured, including a broken back for special teams coach Joe DeCamillis and paralysis from the waist down for team scout Rich Beam.”
“Life is sometimes strange with twist and turns, but even the power of one can lift spirits and ease concerns. Sheer excitement and cheers of disbelief rattled my walls when former Cowboys Hall-of-Famer Larry Allen practically lifted the weight of a golf cart as he bench-pressed 705 lbs to the amazement of coaches and teammates.”
“Brighter days did arrive, hope was renewed with Dak Prescott, team reloaded with Eziekel Elliott and rebuilding now underway with Leighton Vander Esch.”
“31 years have come and gone....I once was buzzing with gleam and excitement ....I’ve stood silent and empty…Now, erased from existence...While my memories can’t be denied….It’s all over now…My Place…Where dreams came true.