The 1960 NFL Expansion Draft was a National Football League (NFL) draft in which a new expansion team, named the Dallas Cowboys, selected its first players. The NFL awarded Dallas, Texas a franchise to compete for revenue with Lamar Hunt's Dallas Texans of the upstart American Football League. The Dallas expansion franchise was approved too late for it to participate in the 1960 NFL Draft. The Cowboys are the only NFL expansion team to not have had the benefit of a college draft in its first year.
So that the Cowboys could become competitive with existing teams, the league gave them the opportunity to select current players from existing teams. That selection was provided by the expansion draft, held on March 13, 1960. In this draft, the Cowboys chose thirty-six players from the existing twelve teams. The NFL also assigned the rights to 1960 NFL Draft picks Don Meredith (who had been drafted by the Chicago Bears) and Don Perkins (drafted by the Baltimore Colts) to the Cowboys for a couple of future draft picks.
Twenty-two players made the active roster that season. Eleven players played only one year with Dallas. Eight players (including Jack Patera, who was injured early in the 1961 season) played in 1960 and 1961. The three remaining players from the draft started for several years, including: Bob Fry, Tackle, 1960-64; Jerry Tubbs, Linebacker, 1960-66; and Frank Clarke, Wide Receiver, 1960-67.
Rules of the Draft
Every existing NFL team listed nine players, and the Cowboys selected three players on the list from each team.
The players in bold made the active roster of the Cowboys in 1960.
- Initially the team was called the Dallas Rangers.
- Buck, Ray (2008-02-15). "From meager beginnings to America’s Team". Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- "Cowboys draft for 1960". Dallas Morning News. http://www.cowboysplus.com/classic/recordbook/draft/1960/index.html. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- "Pro Football History". Pro Football Hall of Fame. http://www.profootballhof.com/history/release.jsp?release_id=1450. Retrieved 2008-09-22.(listed as the Dallas Rangers)
- "1960 Expansion Draft". 2008-09-28. Archived from the original on January 05, 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20090105160119/http://www.knowyourdallascowboys.com/2006/08/29/1960-expansion-draft/. Retrieved 2008-09-22.