By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
In its final days the stadium was 37 going on 87. A concrete, steel and chain-link fence mess. We were still treated to a pre-game blue-and-white balloon release. But there was no band. The old scoreboard was a giant Miller Lite ad. George Dunham replaced Martin. And Loy's simple artistry had long been drowned out by the distorted racket of The Jonas Brothers.
Most of my eternal goose bumps—like yours—are classic Cowboys. The 213-100 record. The four NFC Championship Game victories. Roger Staubach's final comeback win in '79. Emmitt's rushing record in '02. Clint Longley's improbable bomb in '74. Tom Landry's stare. Crazy Ray's whistle. The cameos in Any Given Sunday and on TV's Dallas, making Texas Stadium the most recognizable piece of Texas architecture this side of The Alamo.
All the history. All the glory. All the memories. You'd think Texas Stadium would lie in state in some grand rotunda, gracing fans with one last embrace before becoming a gigantic museum, one of those preserved places adorned with a historical marker, or at least the planet's biggest sports-themed casino.
The building and its team are going out with a collective whimper. Irving officials plan to implode Texas Stadium and erect upon its hallowed ground—prepare to cringe—an outlet mall. The Eagles plan to beat the Cowboys on Sunday, sending them into another cold, harsh, empty winter.
So here we are.
The world's most recognizable hole in the roof destined to become just another hole in the ground, and its former tenants just 60 minutes from the most disappointing season in franchise history.
Nothing left to do but cue Don Meredith:
Turn out the lights, the party's over;
They say that all good things must end...