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Thinking Of The Memories

there," Costas said of stadiums. "We pass them on to generations." 

That is why during this presentation the Cowboys paid homage to their storied past; showing video clips of Tom Landry and Tex Schramm and Don Meredith and Bob Lilly and Troy Aikman . . . Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Jimmy Johnson, too. 

That is why the Cowboys introduced each member of their Ring of Honor, and paraded out 10 of its living members: Lilly, Chuck Howley, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Lee Roy Jordan, Randy White, Cliff Harris, Rayfield Wright, Aikman, Irvin. 

And that also is why when the Cowboys and HKS were designing this 2.3 million square-foot stadium they made a priority of preserving the past. The Hole in the Roof when the retractable roof is open. The quarter-mile steel arches that support this structure, similar to those Texas Stadium roof arches. The Ring of Honor. And of course, building a Hall of Fame museum within the confines of this massive building. 

The Cowboys also wanted the flexibility of preserving the feel of an outdoor stadium, while at the same time having an enclosed facility so North Texas can play host to a Super Bowl, maybe a Final Four, big-time concerts and major conventions. So they came up with the idea of the retractable glass end-zone plaza doors. 

Here's the beauty. Maybe it's one of those 100-degree afternoons in early September. Well, the stadium's roof will be closed, protecting the players and fans from that scorching Texas sun. But they can create a breezy look by opening the end-zone plaza doors, bringing natural light into the event. 

Or maybe it's raining for a game, or, heaven forbid, snowing. Well, close the roof but open those retractable doors. The openness Texas Stadium has lost. 

"Between Bum (Bright) and I, we shut off all the circulation at Texas Stadium," said Jones, recalling former owner Bum Bright adding suites before he built additional suites, basically turning Texas Stadium into a closed bowl. 

There will not be a closed feel to this stadium that started off as an estimated $650 million project that since has ballooned to this $1 billion deal that Mayor Cluck gave a major thumbs up to, since the City of Arlington agreed to fund just half ($325 million) of the original estimated cost. 

That's OK, Jones said, that the overrun will come out of his pocket. 

"Tex Schramm really influenced me on how he wanted this franchise to be perceived," Jones said. "I wanted our fans to be excited by the quality of the finish. 

"I have no other place in my life I can spend a dollar that would be more meaningful." 

So Jones was asked: Is this stadium your legacy? 

"No, I don't want that," Jones said. "This should be the Cowboys' legacy." 

One filled with memories and stories that can be passed down from generation to generation.                                     

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