Tex Schramm, except for a three-year stint as assistant director of sports for CBS television in the late 1950s, played a dynamic role in professional football throughout a 44-year span between 1947 and 1990.
He began his NFL career as publicity director of the Los Angeles Rams and finished as president and chief executive officer of the World League of American Football. In between, he served the Rams for 10 seasons and the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years.
Schramm earned his journalism degree at the University of Texas. After two years as a sports writer with the American-Statesman in Austin, Texas, Schramm moved to Los Angeles to join the Rams. He advanced through the ranks and was general manager of the team when he joined CBS in 1957.
Tex joined the Cowboys at the time of the team's inception in 1960. In a 29-year tenure that ended after the 1988 season, Schramm fashioned the Cowboys into one of the showcase franchises of all professional sports. His Cowboys teams played in five Super Bowls, winning two, had 20 consecutive winning seasons, and 18 playoff appearances in those 20 years.
Schramm's contributions to pro football did not stop with the Cowboys however. For 23 years, he was the chairman of the influential NFL competition committee. Along with Lamar Hunt, he was a leading force in the AFL-NFL merger that was culminated in 1970.
Schramm introduced the concept of three divisions in each of two conferences with wild-card playoff teams. He led the fight for instant replay as an officiating tool and a fan-interest enhancer. He was a leading advocate of such innovations as a referee's microphone, a 30-second clock between plays, extra-wide sideline borders, wind-direction strips on goal post, uprights and multicolor striping for 20- and 50-yard lines.