Hole in the Roof: The Dallas Cowboys, Clint Murchison Jr., and the Stadium That Changed American Sports Forever (Swaim-Paup Sports Series, sponsored by James C. '74 & Debra Parchman Swaim and T. Edgar '74 & Nancy Paup) (Hardcover)
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 In 1966, though the Cotton Bowl was one of the newer stadiums in the National Football League, Murchison saw it as an outdated venue.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.
Hole in the Roof chronicles Murchison’s founding of an extraordinary sports franchise and the battles he fought to build the stadium he wanted. Along the way, this book provides not only a sweeping biography of Clint Jr., a history of the Cowboys from before their inception in 1960 until now (including Jerry Jones), and a history of Texas Stadium, but also a critical look at how Clint's original concept of the stadium has been corrupted—by greed and avarice.
Opening with a foreword by Drew Pearson, all-time Cowboy great and NFL Hall-of-Famer, and based on extensive research in both public and media archives and Murchison family records, Hole in the Roof contains the inside story of the iconic venue where the Cowboys went on to play each of their five Super Bowl-winning seasons: where Murchison proved that stadiums could be a source of revenue surpassing even television.
BURK MURCHISON, son of Clint Murchison Jr., is a partner of Murchison Capital Partners, LLP, an investment management firm based in Dallas. MICHAEL GRANBERRY is an arts and feature writer with the Dallas Morning News. A Dallas native, he has been at the newspaper since 1997, after nineteen years with the Los Angeles Times, where he began as a sportswriter.
— Ben Fountain
“Hole in the Roof is a riveting page turner. It succeeds in providing a gripping insider’s tale that is at times a biography, business book, and sports history. It also delivers a surprisingly moving chapter, appropriately titled ‘Bizarre Beyond Belief,’ of how the Dallas Cowboys were unexpectedly caught up in the tumultuous aftermath of fallout from the assassination of JFK. Hole in the Roof is a book to savor.”—Gerald Posner, author of Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
— Gerald Posner
“Co-authors Burk Murchison and Michael Granberry have hit something here. I always thought all the ‘inside’ stories on Jerry Jones buying the Cowboys from Bum Bright had been told and retold. But with Hole in the Roof, there's a fascinating new story about Jerry almost being totally shut out of the sale. Can you imagine, for better or worse, no socks and jocks for Jerry to sort?”—Randy Galloway, 2022 inductee in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, now retired after 50 years as a sports columnist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and 29 years as a sports-talk radio host
— Randy Galloway
“When Clint Murchison built Texas Stadium to house his Dallas Cowboys in 1971, he changed the fortunes — and the earning power — of the NFL. He took football teams out of baseball stadiums and introduced the sport to the suburbs. He also transformed gameday from a sporting event into a luxurious experience.”—Rick Gosselin, 50-year veteran of covering the National Football League and a voter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
— Rick Gosselin