1960 NFL expansion draft
General information
SportAmerican football
Date(s)March 13, 1960
Expansion teamsDallas Cowboys
Expansion season1960
1961 →

The 1960 NFL expansion draft was the first National Football League (NFL) draft in which a new expansion team, which eventually became known as the Dallas Cowboys, selected its initial players. The NFL awarded Dallas, Texas a franchise to compete for revenue with Lamar Hunt's Dallas Texans of the upstart American Football League.[1] However, the Dallas expansion franchise was approved too late for it to participate in the 1960 NFL draft which had been held on November 30, 1959. Thus, Dallas is the only NFL expansion team to not have had the benefit of a college draft in its first year.[1]

In order for the new franchise to 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.[2] At the time the expansion draft was held, the team was known as the Dallas Rangers; the club was then renamed the Dallas Cowboys six days later to avoid confusion with the Dallas Rangers minor league baseball team.[3]

In this expansion draft, Dallas chose 36 players from the existing 12 teams.[4] 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.[1] 22 players made the active roster that season. 11 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.[5]

Rules of the draft

According to a post on the Professional Football Researcher's Association forum, details have never been released to the public, and thus the exact nature of the expansion draft is unclear. In his autobiography, Tom Landry stated, “Each team would be allowed to protect twenty-five of the thirty-four men on its roster. Of the nine remaining names, we could pick only three from each team.” [6] However, there are at least two mistakes in that statement. First, the active roster limit at that time was thirty-six, not thirty-four. Second, there were at least two individuals chosen by Dallas who were not on active rosters at the time of the selections. Note in particular the selection of Joe Nicely, who was never on an NFL active roster.[7] Thus, it would appear that teams could nominate players from their inactive rosters as well.

Mark Ribowsky: “The Cowboys were permitted to sign three players from each NFL team, choosing from among eleven players left unprotected from each thirty-six man roster in an expansion draft to be held in February.”[8] Again, nothing is said here about players not on the active roster, and Ribowsky has the date wrong. Perhaps the best conclusion is that teams were allowed to protect twenty-five players, active or inactive, and Dallas could choose from the remainder.

More from Landry, “ . . . each time we picked a player off the unprotected list, a team could remove another from that list.”

Player selections

1960 NFL expansion draft — Dallas Cowboys
From Player Position Experience[9] College Notes
Baltimore Colts L. G. Dupre  HB 48 5 Baylor
Baltimore Colts Ray Krouse *  DT 106 9 Maryland
Baltimore Colts Dave Sherer  P 12 1 Southern Methodist
Chicago Bears Don Healy  DT 24 2 Maryland
Chicago Bears Jack Johnson  HB 29 3 Miami (Florida)
Chicago Bears Pete Johnson  HB 7 1 Virginia Military Institute
Cleveland Browns Leroy Bolden  HB 23 2 Michigan State
Cleveland Browns Frank Clarke  E 36 3 Colorado
Cleveland Browns Ed Modzelewski  FB 66 6 Maryland
Detroit Lions Charlie Ane *  C 83 7 Southern California
Detroit Lions Gene Cronin  DE 48 4 Pacific
Detroit Lions Jim Doran *  E 89 9 Iowa State
Green Bay Packers Nate Borden  DE 57 5 Indiana
Green Bay Packers Bill Butler  S 11 1 Tennessee-Chattanooga
Green Bay Packers Don McIlhenny  HB 45 4 Southern Methodist
Los Angeles Rams Tom Franckhauser  DB 12 1 Purdue
Los Angeles Rams Bob Fry  T 60 5 Kentucky
Los Angeles Rams Duane Putnam *  G 95 9 Pacific
New York Giants Al Barry  G 48 4 Southern California
New York Giants Buzz Guy  G 22 2 Duke
New York Giants Don Heinrich  QB 43 6 Washington
Philadelphia Eagles Dick Bielski *  E 60 5 Maryland
Philadelphia Eagles Jerry DeLucca  T 12 1 Middle Tennessee State
Philadelphia Eagles Bill Striegel  LB 12 1 Pacific
Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Fisher  DT 12 1 Eastern Illinois
Pittsburgh Steelers Bobby Luna  HB 24 2 Alabama
Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Mathews *  DB 108 9 Clemson
San Francisco 49ers Fred Dugan  E 24 2 Dayton
San Francisco 49ers John Gonzaga  T 45 4
San Francisco 49ers Jerry Tubbs *  MLB 34 3 Oklahoma
St. Louis Cardinals Bobby Cross  T 83 7 Stephen F. Austin
St. Louis Cardinals Ed Husmann *  DT 52 5 Nebraska
St. Louis Cardinals Jack Patera  LB 57 5 Oregon
Washington Redskins Tom Braatz  LB 37 3 Marquette
Washington Redskins Joe Nicely  C West Virginia
Washington Redskins Doyle Nix  S 31 3 Southern Methodist
      Made roster    *   Made Pro Bowl during career  

See also


  1. ^ a b c Buck, Ray (February 15, 2008). "From meager beginnings to America's Team". Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  2. ^ "Cowboys draft for 1960". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on November 23, 2003. Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  3. ^ "Dallas Eleven Changes Made". New York Times. March 20, 1960. p. S4.
  4. ^ "Pro Football History". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2008.(listed as the Dallas Rangers)
  5. ^ "1960 Expansion Draft". September 28, 2008. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  6. ^ Landry, Tom (1990). Tom Landry: An Autobiography. Grand Rapids, Michigan, and New York: Zondervan Publishing House and HarperCollinsPublishers. pp. 130-131. ISBN 0-310-52910-7.
  7. ^ Neither pro-football-reference.com nor NFL.com/players has an entry for Nicely.
  8. ^ Ribowsky, Mark (2014). The Last Cowboy: A Life of Tom Landry. New York: Liverright Publishing Corp. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-87140-748-1.
  9. ^ "1960 Dallas Cowboys Starters, Roster, & Players". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved January 25, 2017.