Dallas Cowboys Museum owner Stoney Kersh has been collecting team memorabilia since he was a kid. He and his wife Diana live in the house.

Located on a typical residential block in Arlington, the world’s most extensive collection of Cowboys memorabilia sticks out like a big blue and silver sore thumb. Stoney Kersh’s Dallas Cowboys Museum is easily spotted from a block away: a flag bearing the Cowboys’ star hangs alongside the stars and stripes on the corner, both waving above the game-used turf that makes up the front lawn.

Various cars covered in Cowboys-centric adornments line the driveway, including a van that Kersh uses to shuttle people to the stadium, just under 2 miles away, on game days after they park and tailgate in the vacant lot next to his house—all gratis. There’s a truck bearing the logo of every Super Bowl won by the Cowboys, and Kersh’s first car, a Pontiac Firebird with “Cowboys” painted on the side. It’s equipped with “EMMITT” vanity plates, because it’s quick, fast, and moves just like the iconic Cowboys running back, Kersh says.

The Firebird inspired his now-wife Diana to stop in and start talking to him in 2008, but as Kersh is quick to tell the thousands of visitors who have come through his home, she hadn’t seen anything yet. Now, the couple lives together in a 1,330 square-foot shrine to America’s Team, one that they have been opening to the public for free by appointment for almost a decade.

The exterior of Kersh’s home is also in theme.

Superfan is one word for Kersh, who has a Dallas Cowboys tattoo on one bicep and a Lynyrd Skynyrd tattoo on the other; savant collector and archivist are equally apt, though, given his meticulous organization of the seemingly infinite number of Cowboys things he owns. Every pocket schedule ever printed, every program, every action figure and bobblehead and Cowboys Tostitos bag are all placed in order, carefully filed in binders, or easily accessible on shelves. Kersh doesn’t write anything down. He relies on a mental tally of his collection in his continual pursuit of an impossible completeness.

Stoney Kersh's Dallas Cowboys Museum

Want to arrange a tour? Tours are available by appointment only.

Contact Scott Poland at 817-704-7593 or email [email protected] to find out more.

Museum curator isn’t even the 56-year-old’s day job. He’s been working as a service technician for Smucker’s for 33 years, repairing coffee machines primarily in hospitals. But his all-consuming hobby has brought him tons of visitors from all over the world, a fair amount of press, and a few NFL A-listers, including Michael Irvin and Roger Goodell, who even invited Kersh to watch a playoff game from his suite. “I wanted to watch the game—that man sat there and talked to me all the way until halftime,” Kersh says.

One visitor remains elusive, though: Jerry Jones knows about the museum, but still hasn’t come to see it. “I know he’s seen all this stuff before, but he’s never seen it like this,” says Kersh of the Cowboys owner and branding mastermind. “I think he would enjoy coming out, sitting down in what I would call kind of a normal place, not a great big mansion, and just kind of taking it all in. I’d love for him to come someday.”

His Cowboys mecca certainly rivals Jerryworld and the Star in Frisco in its sheer devotion to the team. There is not a single inch of the home that isn’t Cowboys-centric, or included on the tour—from the kitchen cabinets that each bear the Cowboys’ star to the recently-renovated bathroom with its stadium seat-back toilet lid and turf-inspired shower tile that’s green with white stripes, soon to be painted with the yard markers. Kersh adds something to his collection every single day, on top of the extensive maintenance the museum requires and the various projects he comes up with, the latest being a jury-rigged Cowboys-themed pinball machine. His masterpiece to this point is a miniature Dallas Cowboys city, with a replica of AT&T Stadium surrounded by various Cowboys-themed businesses and a model train track.The whole set-up is lowered from the ceiling of his garage on-demand and with the push of a button, the requisite military flyover totters across the display.

“Every day revolves around the boys,” he says. “Cowboys is pretty much all I know.”

Kersh’s miniature Dallas Cowboys city masterpiece.

He doesn’t turn anything down: the collection ranges from vestiges of the first Cowboys season to one-off collectibles to the kinds of keychains and stickers found in supermarkets around North Texas to a Whataburger order number signed by current defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins. “I’ll leave to go to work some mornings and there’ll be stuff on the front porch,” Kersh says. “I don’t even know where it comes from.” Duplicates go in what Kersh calls the “pro shop,” a detached garage filled with objects that Kersh either gives away to kids who come through the museum (and writers—I left with an unopened Cowboys commemorative Super Bowl Coca-Cola) or trades for things he wants.

Kersh’s dog is named Dak—for now.

Kersh has only one rule, and it means that you won’t see him wearing a Dak Prescott or Tony Romo jersey, in spite of the fact that his German shepherd is named Dak. “I’ll buy their jersey whenever they win the Super Bowl,” Kersh says. “All my jerseys are from people who have won the Super Bowl. If they don’t win this year, I’m changing my dog’s name.”

Whether the Cowboys win or lose, Kersh spends all his time and plenty of money—they accept donations, but the costs are substantial—maintaining and growing the museum for reasons that actually have little to do with the team itself.

“I would love to make it my full-time job. I don’t know how to do that,” he says. “But the little kiddos in their worn-out Cowboys shirts, they’re so excited when they come over here and see all the stuff, and play catch on the turf. Diana once said we’re going to have to start giving out chin straps because people smile so much when they come over—that’s what we love the most.”

 

The March 2024 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

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