The Dallas Texans

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The Dallas Texans were a professional football team that played in the NFL during the 1952 season. The Texans were a very hapless team during their year in operation and are considered the worst ever NFL team in some quarters.

How did the Dallas Texans Start up?

The Texans franchise was born out of failure. During the 1951 season the New York Yanks, a football franchise not affiliated to the MLB’s Yankees of today, ran into financial trouble and was placed on the market by owner Ted Collins. After failing to interest any buyers, he sold the team to the NFL, the ultimate act of desperation. One month later an NFL expansion franchise for the city of Dallas was awarded to millionaire brothers Giles and Collins Miller. The Miller brothers also acquired the entire roster of the Yanks and moved them to Dallas. The new team was named Dallas Texans, with an outlook of appealing to fans across the state of Texas. The Texans would play their home games at the Cotton Bowl.

The Dallas Texans in Competition

The Texans played their inaugural game, against the New York Giants on September 28, 1952. They drew first blood after recovering a punt fumbled by one of the Giants defensive backs and scoring two plays later. However they missed the extra points and they would not find the Giants’ end zone again, eventually losing 24-6. Two weeks later, they met the San Francisco 49ers and they were vanquished 37-14. A week later, they met the Chicago bears at the Wrigley Field, losing 38-20. Their losing streak continued a further six games for a total of 9 straight losing games with three games left. They then won their first game of the season 27-23 against a second string Chicago Bears. They were however back to their mediocre selves as they lost the remaining two games to end the season with a 1-11 record.

Dallas Texans most Notable Moments

On November 27, 1952, the Texans registered their first and only win of the season, against an understrength Chicago Bears. Playing in front of a scant crowd at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, head coach Jim Phelan joked that instead of the team being introduced on the field, the team should have gone to the stands and shaken each fan’s hand. Bears coach George Halas was so confident of a win that he started the game with his second string team. The Texans would emerge 27-23 winners, helping them avoid going an entire season without a win.

Dallas Texans most Notable Players

Quarterback George Taliaferro was undoubtedly the star of the otherwise mediocre team. he rushed for 419 yards and made 244 receiving yards for a total of 663 yards during the season. His contributions saw him selected to the Pro Bowl.

Halfback Buddy Young was the Texans’ most prolific scorer, chipping in 30 points while also contributing 512 yards from scrimmage, only second behind Taliaferro. With 1190, Young led the league in all-purpose yards.

Quarterback Frank Tripucka led the Texans in passing, throwing a total of 769 yards.

Other notable players include Billy Baggett, Jerry Davis and Dick Wilkins.

What Happened to the Dallas Texans?

From the very start, fans in Dallas never really embraced the Texans, with just 17,499 fans showing up at the 75,000 seat Cotton Bowl to watch the team’s first game. As it became clear that the city did not have much of a franchise in its hands, fan turnout sunk even lower eventually reaching just 10,000 by November. For the final two home games of the season, the Texans moved to Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio.

However the expected recovery in turnout was not to be as the team only attracted 3,000 fans for their first game there, smaller than a high school game that had been played there earlier. They moved again for the final game of the season, this time to Briggs stadium in Detroit following a takeover of the team by the NFL. After the league was unable to find a buyer for the team, it was folded following the conclusion of the 1952 season. The team’s remaining assets and players were awarded to the startup franchise Baltimore Colts a few months later. However the Colts are not officially considered a continuation of the Texans. The Texans are therefore officially considered the last NFL team to fold permanently.