No team in the NFL is more closely tied to the Dallas Cowboys than their next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs. This may seem to be a strange statement to some people, especially given the fact that in the 54 years that both teams have been playing professional football, this week’s game marks only the 10th time the two franchises have met. How then could they be so closely related?
The fact of the matter is both teams became professional franchises in Dallas, Texas in 1960. Both franchises were founded by wealthy sons of the Texas oil fields, the Cowboys by Clint Murchison Jr., and the Chiefs by Lamar Hunt. Both fathers of these two football pioneers have been implicated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by a woman who alleges to have had a long affair with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Were their fathers part of the conspiracy? Not for me to decide. Both men had ties to the original Dallas Texans of the NFL, a woebegone team that lasted only 1 year in 1952.
As Lamar Hunt and Clint Murchison Jr. sought to bring professional football to the city of Dallas, they both tried to buy existing teams. Murchison was a fan of the 1-11 Texans and tried to buy that team. He was unsuccessful. Then both men tried to buy the Chicago Cardinals from William Bidwell and move that team to Dallas. In all of their efforts the two wealthy heirs to oil fortunes were thwarted.
Then in 1959 and 1960 Lamar Hunt decided to start his own football league to compete against the 12 team NFL. He co-founded the American Football League and placed his team in Dallas, and named them after the 1952 NFL team, and called them the Dallas Texans. At the same time Hunt was thinking big, Clint Jr. was thinking sneaky. He managed to secure an NFL team for Dallas by bribing the most powerful NFL owner for his yes vote. To do this he held the Washington Redskins fight song, “Hail to the Redskins” hostage. The Redskins owners, George Preston Marchall, loved that song and agreed to vote yes on an NFL team for Murchison in exchange for getting it back.