They are known as “America’s Team.” With 8.7 million fans, the Dallas Cowboys have the most followed National Football League team account on Facebook (September 2018, statista.com).
And one of them is getting special recognition.
Arlington resident Stoney Kersh was nominated for the Ford Hall of Fans. The automobile company chose only six people, nationwide, to participate in the contest. While the honor already exists for fans of NASCAR, 2019 is the inaugural year for the NFL Hall of Fans.
“It’s a great honor. I mean, you figure all of the millions of Cowboy fans in the world, and they chose me,” says Kersh. “I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I’m truly blessed to be able to represent the Cowboys.”
Kersh began collecting Dallas Cowboys memorabilia when he was four years old with a set of football cards – which he still has to this day. The 51-year-old says he loves stuff with the star on it and will shop everywhere and anywhere he can find it: “I’ve been known to wait in line all night long if I saw something at an estate sale.”
Over the years, the collection has grown – a lot!
“I used to keep it to myself, and my friends would come over and see it and say you have to do something with all of this,” recalls Kersh. “So all I could come up with is a museum.”
The Kersh home has been turned into the “Stoney’s Dallas Cowboys Museum.” It’s so impressive that the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau has listed it as an attraction on its website.
The museum consists of three buildings, as well as several vehicles and an outdoor display area. “That’s what we do this for, is to show this to people,” says Stoney’s wife, Diana Kersh.
The Kershs welcome families, schools and other groups into their home. They say they get a few visitors each week, but the number tends to increase when the Cowboys are playing well. They’ve opened their door to fans from Mexico, New York, even as far away as Hawaii.
“We get the most joy out of seeing people smile,” says Stoney. “That’s what it’s all about.”
And while they are happy to host any football fan, the couple was excited to have these celebrities stop by this year: former Cowboys Michael Irvin, Dixon Edwards, Lincoln Coleman and NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.
After his museum tour, Goodell invited the Hershs to his suite at AT&T Stadium to watch a Cowboys game.
“Mr. Goodell just sat and talked to me like I was one of the guys,” says Hersh. “I’d say it’s been a dream come true, but I never dreamt this.”
The winner of the fan contest will be announced on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. He or she will be inducted into the Ford Hall of Fans in July at an event in Canton, Ohio.
“We don’t even have a Dallas Cowboys player nominated to go into the Hall of Fame this year, so if we could get a fan that would be awesome!” exclaims Hersh.
For more on the museum, visit arlington.org.