Smokey the Cannon was created by the University of Texas at Austin's mechanical engineering lab in 1953 in response to shotgun blasts often heard at the Red River Rivalry. Two years later, Smokey I was modified in 1955 to shoot twin 10-gauge shotgun shells & the revision was renamed Smokey II. Smokey II was used by the Texas Cowboys for 30+ years.

The current version of the cannon, Smokey III, is a famous replica Civil War artillery cannon that weighs over 1,200 pounds & was built by Lupton Machinery of Austin, out of the trunk of an oak tree in 1988 and purchased by the Texas Cowboys Alumni Association for $25,000.

Smokey III fires four (4) 10-gauge blank shotgun shells after every Texas Longhorns score, at kick-off, and at the end of every quarter. Most importantly, Smokey is fired off after the world famous college fight song, "The Eyes of Texas" at the conclusion of every Texas football game. Smokey is stationed in the southeast corner of the endzone at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium during every Texas Longhorns home football game. After each football season, Smokey the Cannon is generally displayed in the Red McCombs Red Zone atrium. In addition to all home football games, Smokey the Cannon is present at the annual Texas vs. Oklahoma Red River Rivalry game in Dallas, Texas every October as well as other select football games outside of Austin, Texas (barring local and stadium permission), including bowl games.

The Cannon has appeared at countless charity and volunteer events across the country and is maintained and transported by the Cannon Crew - a team of four Old Men, voted on by the entire organization each spring.