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Dallas Cowboys Memories

Why does Texas Stadium have a hole in the roof?

So God can watch his favorite team.

You’ve heard the joke right? Well, Saturday night will mark the last game played in Texas Stadium by the Dallas Cowboys. Over the past few years I have watched as many old faithful sports stadiums have been demolished for newer and better venues (Tiger Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, RFK Stadium, etc…); but this time it’s personal. I’ve been following the stories at the Dallas Morning News for weeks now, documenting personal stories from the stadium and it has me feeling nostalgic. (There is a great top 10 greatest games list HERE, as well as a memorial site HERE.)

I’m as excited as anyone about something new coming down the road for my Cowboys, but I’m really showing my age when I say that I’m gonna miss the old place. Lots of memories.

I can remember the first time I went to a game there. I’m I was in 11th or 12th grade and the Cowboys were good again. As a teenager I was a Dallas Cowboy ball boy during their training camp in Austin, TX; but had never actually been to Texas Stadium. For Christmas that year my dad had bought my brother and I Dallas Cowboys sweatshirts, and we headed off early on a Sunday Morning from Tulsa to catch the 3pm game at Texas Stadium. I remember that we played the Giants (and we won!), but my funniest memory is of arriving at the stadium about 3 hours before game time and my brother, father and I sitting like a bunch of kindergartners for hours just soaking in all the history. (I know, I know…we’re Cowboy nerds.)

Over the years I would return to see the Cowboys a dozen or so times, happening to catch some big moments. I was there when Emmitt Smith broke Walter Payton’s all-time NFL rushing record. The crowd was super crazy that day. It was unlike any sporting experience I’ve ever been a part of.

I was there when Terrell Owens disgraced the star at mid-field, and George Teague decked him. I remember that moment, because I was trying to explain to my wife the entire time why someone would take offense to that. Still not sure she got it.

When my son was born in late October 2004 we were unable to go back to Tulsa for Thanksgiving, so the family all came to Dallas and the men took in a Cowboy game on Thanksgiving Day. I remember Toby Keith performed at halftime, and the Cowboys got their butts kicked! I was also there for a few Quincy Carter moments, and even saw Vinny Testaverde throw 5 or 6 interceptions in a game. Whoopee!

It’s funny how inanimate objects that have been in and around our lives for decades can become so full of memories for us. So long Texas Stadium. May the wrecking ball come quick and swift for you, and here’s hoping I can afford a ticket to the new stadium at some point in my lifetime.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.