The Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs square off Sunday afternoon — this is a relatively rare, yet significant matchup due to what’s at stake each time the Chiefs play the Cowboys.
That is, the Preston Road Trophy.
Though the unsightly award resembles a shop class creation — think The Shiva Bowl Trophy from The League — it was actually the late Lamar Hunt (son of oilman H.L. Hunt, founder of the American Football League, father of the Chiefs’ owner Clark and erstwhile neighbor of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) who crafted the coveted prize and penned its sweet inscription:
“Created in friendship on Dec. 13 1998 on the occasion of the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys.”
Jones and Hunt were neighbors on Preston Road (not in Preston Hollow, properly, but the trophy sometimes sat in Hunt’s front window, visible to drivers passing through neighboring Highland Park). As Jones (our loquacious spider spinning words into a magnificent linguistic web) said on a radio show, “I live on Preston Road and Lamar lived about as a cat or dog would walk probably 200 yards from me.”
In 1998 Hunt presented The Preston Road Trophy to Jones, who describes it as “like a birdhouse, fixed up real nice.” The Chiefs claimed it that year. The traveling trophy has changed hands a few times since then. Jones should be in possession now, after a Nov. 5, 2017 Dallas victory. Based on this KRLD interview, the owners are protective of the booty.
Here is Jones explaining.
JJ: “He had built — looks like a birdhouse. He had it all fixed up real nice, maybe 25, 26 years ago, he presented me with that Preston Road Trophy. He said whether it’s preseason or whether it’s regular season the winner will get the Preston Road Trophy. And it was really something and he presented it to me at a meeting over at SMU that he was having and it was so much. Well, sure enough, they did win the first game we did play. We don’t play that often. And they won it.”
JJ continued: “I had some friends over and were telling them this story, and they said, ‘Well, we sure would like to see it.’ So, I called him and wanted to show them The Preston Road Trophy. And he said, ‘Jerry, I’m not so sure about this. That really is not quite in the spirit of it.’ [And he then said] ‘I’ll tell you what. I’ll let you have it, but you got to have it back by midnight.’ …
JJ continued: “And the first time I asked him he said, ‘Oh, no, I don’t believe I’ll let you have possession because we’ve earned the possession. We’ll let you drive by with your friends and I’ll put it in the window and look at it.’ Later on [when] I had it, same thing. He wanted to show some people The Preston Road Trophy. I would let him have it. I made his wife come and get it and sign a receipt for it and be sure to bring it back in a day.”
A former GM of the Chiefs described to ESPN the significance of the Dallas v. Kansas City rivalry.
“Lamar was on the board of the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and I would sometimes go to the game with him. He was very proud of that stadium. He would walk me all around it and tell me the history. I could tell there was still a piece of him disappointed that he had to pull the Dallas Texans out of there to become the Kansas City Chiefs, said Carl Peterson to ESPN.
“Then this new, brash owner of the Dallas Cowboys moves right down the street from him,” which is what makes the game a little more personal to Clark Hunt than all the other NFC matchups.
Sunday’s the ninth time the teams have met since Lamar Hunt made the trophy. They were supposed to play last year in the preseason, but, COVID. They play at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday at 3:25 p.m.