|Home stadium||Shelton Stadium|
|Postseason bowl record||5–2–1|
|Conference titles||3 Border Conference|
Hardin–Simmons began competing in intercollegiate football in 1897. The program rose to prominence under Frank Kimbrough who compiled a 47–8–3 record (.836) as head coach from 1935 to 1940. Kimbrough's teams played in the 1936 and 1937 Sun Bowls, and his undefeated and untied 1940 team was ranked No. 17 in the final AP Poll.
From 1941 to 1961, the team competed as a member of the Border Conference. During this time, the Cowboys won three conference championships: 1942 (shared with Texas Tech) and 1946 under head coach and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Warren B. Woodson, and 1958 under head coach and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Sammy Baugh. During the period of its membership in the Border Conference, the team appeared in seven bowl games, including a record three bowl games (Grape, Shrine, and Camellia Bowls) for the 1948 team.
From 1960 to 1963, the football program compiled a record of 3–35–1 and was outscored by a total of 999 to 313. In January 1964, the university trustees ordered the elimination of the university football program. The chairman of the board said the move was necessitated by "financial difficulties and losses" in the athletic program.
The school did not field a football team from 1964 to 1989. The football program returned in 1990, but the school now competes at the NCAA Division III level. Jimmie Keeling was the head coach for 21 years from 1990 to 2010, winning 11 American Southwest Conference championships and compiling a record of 172–53 (.764). Jesse Burleson has been the head coach since 2011.
Bowl game appearances
|1935||January 1, 1936||Sun Bowl||T||New Mexico A&M||14||14||Frank Kimbrough||notes|
|1936||January 1, 1937||Sun Bowl||W||Texas Western||34||6||Frank Kimbrough||notes|
|1942||January 1, 1943||Sun Bowl||L||Second Air Force||7||13||Clark Jarnagin||notes|
|1946||January 4, 1947||Alamo Bowl||W||Denver||20||0||Warren B. Woodson||notes|
|1947||January 1, 1948||Harbor Bowl||W||San Diego State||53||0||Warren B. Woodson|
|1948||December 11, 1948||Grape Bowl||T||Pacific (CA)||35||35||Warren B. Woodson|
|1948||December 18, 1948||Shrine Bowl||W||Ouachita Baptist||41||12||Warren B. Woodson|
|1948||December 30, 1948||Camellia Bowl||W||Wichita State||49||12||Warren B. Woodson|
|1958||December 31, 1958||Sun Bowl||L||Wyoming||7||14||Sammy Baugh||notes|
|Total||9 bowl games||5–2–2||260||!06|
The Grape Bowl is listed in NCAA records, but was not an NCAA-sanctioned bowl game.
- "Football". Hardin-Simmons University. http://hsuathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/index. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- "2007 Cowboy Football Media Guide". Hardin-Simmons University. p. 69. http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/hsim/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/fbmg.pdf. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- "Hardin-Simmons Cowboys School History". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/hardin-simmons/. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- "Conference Championships: Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association". College Football Data Warehouse. http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/conference_champs/champions.php?conid=24. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- "Hardin-Simmons made bowl season history in '48". Houston Chronicle. December 26, 2008. http://www.chron.com/sports/college-football/article/Hardin-Simmons-made-bowl-season-history-in-48-1617904.php. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
- "H-SU Drops Grid Sport". The Abilene Reporter-News: p. 1. January 10, 1964. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/27838936/hsu_drops_grid_sport/.
- "Year-By-Year Record". Hardin-Simmons University. https://www.hsuathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/Year-By-Year_Record. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20170510220255/http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/2016/Bowls.pdf. Retrieved 2017-01-07.