Texas Stadium was the scene of many moments that made it known around the world. The following is a list of the Texas Stadium Top 10 Iconic Moments as compiled by the city of Irving.
1) Billy Graham’s Christening Crusade Before Texas Stadium officially opened in October 1971, it was the site of “The Greater Southwest Billy Graham Crusade.” The 10-day event began on September 17 and included performances by Johnny and June Cash and the Statler Brothers, and on-stage appearances by former President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird. More than 60,000 people attended Graham’s crusade, and in his closing remarks, Graham called Texas Stadium “one of the great stadiums of the world.” Graham drew a record crowd of 85,000 when he returned to Texas Stadium in October 2002 for one of his final crusades.
2) One of the Greatest Ads of All Time Texas Stadium is the site of one of the most memorable television ads of all time. Who can forget the big and burly Mean Joe Greene, a former All-Pro defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, accepting a Coke from 8-year-old Tommy Okon.The gesture puts a smile on Greene’s face and prompts him to toss his jersey to the young fan. The famous ramp on which the ad was filmed has been moved to the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in nearby Arlington.
3) Michael Irving – I Mean Irvin Michael Irvin is special to the City of Irving because fans can’t say his name without thinking of Irving! Irvin played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1988– 1999 and is regarded as one of the most successful wide receivers in NFL history. Irving helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) and four straight appearances in the NFC Championship Game (1992 – 1995). He was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team and was inducted into the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor with former teammates Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith on September 19, 2005. In 2007, Irvin was inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame- the first Dallas Cowboys wide receiver to receive the award.
4) Any Given Sunday The hit movie Any Given Sunday was filmed at Texas Stadium in 1999. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film’s ensemble cast featured Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J and Ann-Margaret, and tells the story of the fictional professional football team the Miami Sharks. The Sharks’ team logo featured on the wall in the visitor’s locker room was signed by the director and cast and was moved to the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in nearby Arlington.
5) NFC Championship Records When it comes to NFC Championship games, the Dallas Cowboys are second to none. While playing at Texas Stadium, the Cowboys amassed numerous NFC Championship game records: • Most victories – 8 (1970, 1971, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1992, 1993, 1995) • Most appearances – 14 (1970 – 73, 1975, 1977 – 78, 1980 – 82, 1992 – 95) • Most consecutive appearances – 4 (1970 – 74 & 1992 – 95; a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles)
6) Emmitt Smith’s Rushing Record At Texas Stadium on October 27, 2002, the Dallas Cowboys’ Emmitt Smith became the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher, surpassing Walter Payton’s record of 16,726 yards. During his pro career with the Cowboys from 1990 – 2002 (Smith played for the Arizona Cardinals from 2003 – 2004, but retired as a Cowboy in 2005), Smith was the winner of four NFL rushing titles, the first player in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons and named the NFL’s MVP in 1993. Like fellow teammate Michael Irvin, Smith played on three Super Bowl championship teams (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) and was inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor in 2005. He remains the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with a total of 18,355 yards and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
7) Garth Brooks’ Entertainment Records In 1993, Garth Brooks pulled off the unthinkable. While filming a concert at Texas Stadium for an NBC special that would air the following year, Brooks unleashed rings of fire, simulated lightning and rain and the most unbelievable – flew by wires from the 200 foot high ceiling reinforced by the now famous “Garth Bars.” In all, 26 cameras recorded the spectacle during three evening shows attended by more than 200,000 screaming fans. This event still holds the record for attendance of a country music event by a single artist.
8) “… So God Can Watch His Favorite Team Play.” D.D. Lewis, a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys from 1968 – 1981, may have been voted the “Most Popular Player” by the Dallas Cowboys fans the year he retired, but he will always be remembered for something he said in 1982 – “Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch his favorite team play.”
9) Texas Stadium Made Famous Worldwide By Dallas From 1978 – 1991, Texas Stadium flashed on television screens around the world during the opening credits of the famous TV series Dallas, which chronicled the lives of the fictional Ewing clan. As a result, Texas Stadium is arguably one of the most recognized structures in Texas, the United States – and because of the global popularity of the show – even the world.
10) A Blueprint for Future Stadiums and Teams When Texas Stadium opened in 1971, it was considered state of the art. With a price tag of $35 million, it was breathtaking, and set the standard for NFL stadiums. It was also a blueprint for future stadiums. Fans paid for the stadium by purchasing bonds, what are today’s equivalent of personal seat licenses. During their tenure at Texas Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys became America’s Team and introduced the world to a group of admired ladies known as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. These beautiful women, decked out in blue and white uniforms have become an inspirational American icon to thousands of fans around the world.