DALLAS -- Dallas Cowboys President and General Manager Tex Schramm Tuesday ended his 29-year association with the team, saying the men who now run the franchise will have to 'create their own history and their own heritage.'
Schramm, who along with original Cowboys owner Clint Murchison and former coach Tom Landry, built the team into one of the most successful sports franchises in the country, stepped down Tuesday to become president of the newly created International Football League.
His departure from the Cowboys became inevitable once Arkansas oilman Jerry Jones bought the team and began taking over what had been Schramm's duties.
'I've got a lot of emotions,' Schramm said last weekend in a wide ranging discussion with area reporters. 'For some time after the team was sold, I couldn't talk about it without breaking up.
'But everything comes to an end. And you can't always dictate how it comes to an end. What is important is where you go afterwards and I'm one of the lucky few who has somewhere to go.
'To me it is understandable. If you buy something like the Cowboys, you want your own people in. It doesn't bother me. It doesn't, really. The only thing that bothers me is that all of a sudden, what you might call my Cowboys are gone. They are no longer.
'On the day of the sale, well, the whole day was a shock. It was very emotional for me, but now I can look at it from a more realistic standpoint. They are no longer my Dallas Cowboys and that is never going to change. I've got to move on. Things are not going to be the same here.
'I am very fortunate. I can look back, with others, at the creation of the club and the building and development of it to a level of success that is unique. The only thing anyone else can do is buy it. They have to create their own history and their own heritage.'
Schramm said he wished Jones and new Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson nothing but success.
'I don't want them to do poorly,' Schramm said. 'I want them to win. He (Jones) explained his desire to lean on me for the help he needed. I told him I was available for anything he might need. I don't anticipate any association with theteam. But I'd be happy to be a consultant for free.
'If I can help him in any way, I will, because I am still devoted to the Cowboys.'
Schramm said he was able to adopt a philosophical attitude toward the end of his tenure with the Cowboys because of the success he has enjoyed and because of the realization that even if he stayed with the team, it would not be in the same capacity he had enjoyed for 29 years.
'I don't want people to think I've been treated shabily,' Schramm said, 'because I've had 29 great years. It is hard, though, to make your mind change gears. I've caught myself thinking about things that need to be done and then saying to myself, 'You don't have to do that anymore.' There is still some of that.
'But I've realized now that times like this must come. That's why I can talk to you now (without getting emotional). It's not that I care less for what has been done over the last 29 years. It's just that it's all changed.'
Schramm said he would sell his minority interest in the team and that he was 'satisfied with the terms of my termination.'
'Retaining power never concerned me,' Schramm said. 'I wanted someone (an owner) who would retain the heritage and tradition and continue that.'
And will that continue?
'That's what we will see,' he said. 'It's one thing to win. Any number of teams have won. It's being able to win with a certain class and style that sets you apart. That is the challenge. That comes from a lot of little things and a lot of relationships. You earn that from the way you do things every day.
'Unless that is in your blood and makeup, you can't falsely manufacture it.'