Pack Your Bags: 1971 Dallas Cowboys

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Usually when sports teams move to a new home they do it at the beginning of the season. But sometimes teams just up and move right in the middle of a campaign. One such team was the 1971 Dallas Cowboys.

Since their first NFL season of 1960 the Cowboys had called the venerable Cotton Bowl in Dallas home. But by the mid-’60s team owner Clint Murchison Jr. wanted to build a new stadium and move away from the neighborhood around the Cotton Bowl. His attempts to secure a new stadium in downtown Dallas failed, and so in December 1967 Murchison announced his plans to build a new, football-only stadium in nearby Irving in time for the 1970 season.

Ground was finally broken for the new venue on January 25, 1969, and construction delays pushed the opening of the $25 million Texas Stadium until after the start of the 1971 NFL season. So the Cowboys were forced to play two more games at the Cotton Bowl before they could move into their new digs.

Here is the program from the final Dallas Cowboys home game in the Cotton Bowl. It was played on Monday night, October 11 against the New York Giants.

The final Cowboys home game at the Cotton Bowl.

Perhaps fittingly given the Cowboys’ rise to national prominence, this last Cotton Bowl game was a 20-13 win.

Two weeks later, October 24, Texas Stadium was officially opened for business as Dallas hosted the New England Patriots. That game was also a win, and Dallas eventually went on to beat the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI for their first NFL championship.