Bright sold Cowboys to Jones

DALLAS -- Harvey R. "Bum" Bright, a staunch Texas A&M
booster best known for buying the Dallas Cowboys from founder Clint Murchison and selling them to Jerry Jones, has died. He was 84.

Bright died Saturday at his Highland Park home after a long
illness. A private burial was set for Thursday afternoon.

"He was a close friend and a businessman that I respected and
admired tremendously," Jones said in a statement Sunday. "Our
agreement on the purchase of the Dallas Cowboys was finalized with
a few notes on a napkin and a handshake. With Bum, his word meant
everything. He was one of the most honorable men that I have ever
had the privilege of knowing and working with."

Bright was chairman of the Texas A&M Board of Regents in 1982
when he was responsible for hiring Jackie Sherrill as the football
coach and making him the highest-paid coach in college football at
the time. Two years later, he bought the Cowboys, then sold them in

"When the Cowboys thing came up, he was so worried they were
going elsewhere," said former Texas A&M football coach R.C.
Slocum, a good friend of Bright's. "Buying the Cowboys was a
business deal, but a big part of it was also keeping the Cowboys in

Bright toyed with the idea of firing coach Tom Landry, a move
Jones made soon after buying the team.

Bright received a degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M
in 1943.

In 1997, Bright made an unrestricted endowment of $25 million to
Texas A&M. At the time, it was the largest gift of its type the
university had ever received.

"He bled and died maroon," former Cowboys director of player
personnel Gil Brandt said. "The Cowboys were something he did for
the community, but his first love was Texas A&M."